From left, Patricia Valverde, Andrea Dwyer and Linda Burhansstipanov attend the NNRT.

Patient navigation leaders, including several from Colorado, convened in Washington, DC, on Nov. 7 for the inaugural meeting of the National Navigation Roundtable (NNRT).

The NNRT, sponsored by American Cancer Society, is a national coalition of more than 40 members organization and individuals who are dedicated to achieving health equity and access to care across the cancer continuum. Its goal is to advance navigation efforts that eliminate barriers to cancer care, reduce disparities in health outcomes, and foster ongoing health equity.

 “The NNRT provides an opportunity to ensure we are working to advance navigation deliberately in a sustainable, unified manner across state lines,” said Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, Vice-Chair of the NNRT.

Dwyer is Director of the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Program Director at the Colorado School of Public Health. She leads key statewide outreach efforts for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative (PNTC) and is a lead instructor for the program.

PNTC director Patricia Valverde, PhD, MPH, attended the meeting and let the Training and Certification task group with Linda Burhansstipanov, DrPH, MSPH, president of Native American Cancer Initiatives and Colorado resident.

“I am very excited to be involved with these efforts on a national level,” said Dr. Valverde.

The NNRT plans to meet monthly via web and in-person annually to focus on:

  • Establishing an evidence-based/outcome driven patient navigation model
  • Ensuring there is an activated, trained workforce to implement the model
  • Establish policies to support paying for implementation of the model.