Bristol-Myers Squibb Awards Two Grants to Support Comprehensive Cancer Community Collaboration at Several Hospitals in New Jersey

Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:30am EDT

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Grants to American Cancer Society and Princeton HealthCare System support
navigation programs designed to improve outcomes and promote efficient,
cost-effective care for patients with cancer
PRINCETON, N.J.--(Business Wire)--
Bristol-Myers Squibb has awarded grants totaling $175,000 to the American Cancer
Society Eastern Division and Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) to support
comprehensive navigation services for patients with cancer both independently
and as part of a collaborative effort among several hospitals in central New
Jersey. 

Several studies have linked patient navigation to improvements in patient
outcomes and survival rates, particularly for patients with cancer. Navigation
is viewed as an integral component of cancer services. Navigators help
coordinate patients` care and guide them to resources that can provide
psychosocial support and address financial concerns, language or cultural
issues, and day-to-day needs such as transportation. 

The grant to PHCS supports the expansion of a successful patient navigation
program at the system`s acute-care hospital, University Medical Center of
Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) in Plainsboro, N.J. The program was first
piloted at UMCPP`s Breast Health Center in East Windsor, N.J., under the
guidance of a breast health navigator, and also among UMCPP`s patients with lung
and esophageal cancer. The move toward a Comprehensive Oncology Patient
Navigation Program will expand navigation services to encompass all cancer
patient categories at UMCPP`s Edward & Marie Matthews Center for Cancer Care. 

The Matthews Center for Cancer Care at UMCPP regularly refers patients to the
American Cancer Society, and the two jointly offer the "Look Good Feel Better"
program. In addition, the Matthews Center for Cancer Care regularly offers
collaborative programs with Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey and
frequently refers patients to Cancer Care for counseling and psychosocial
services. 

PHCS used the Bristol-Myers Squibb grant to expand its patient navigation staff
to include a full-time senior navigator at UMCPP, fund a patient orientation
program and provide more materials to help patients better understand their
diagnoses. 

"We envision a program in which all patients who receive a cancer diagnosis at
UMCPP [approximately 800 to 900 per year] and patients who are returning for
cancer treatment [approximately 200 per year] will be routed through an
integrated program in which they will be supported from inception to aftercare,"
said Judy Neuman, CTR, director, Cancer Services, Edward & Marie Matthews Center
for Cancer Care at UMCPP. "We believe that making this available to our patients
will help them to better cope with their diagnoses and to better understand and
manage their experiences through a complex healthcare system as they receive
treatment." 

Jeff Descoteau, whose mother undergoes treatment at UMCPP, said the navigator
service proved invaluable. Patients and their families can be overwhelmed when
they receive a diagnosis of cancer. But Descoteau said the navigator at UMCPP,
Lori McMullen, RN, MSN, OCN, relieved the stress by helping them understand the
treatment options and available resources. McMullen explained which expenses
were covered by insurance or secondary insurance and also informed the family
about national programs that offer additional financial aid. She made them aware
of in-home services, including medical care and assistance with household tasks.
She also helped them with assistance for the cost of prescriptions and connected
them to transportation services for medical visits or treatments. 

"Lori McMullen is an angel in our eyes," Descoteau said. "She took the time to
learn of our personal situation, and she not only shared her knowledge about the
resources available to us but also did the legwork to get the results we needed
for any situation. With her assistance, my mom was able to focus on what she
needed to do to get back to a normal life. And I was able to focus on what is
most important to me: my mom." 

The American Cancer Society Eastern Division (ACS) will use its Bristol-Myers
Squibb grant to support onsite patient navigation program and services for
underserved, newly diagnosed cancer patients in Mercer and Middlesex counties in
New Jersey. In addition, the grant will enable ACS professional staff to develop
or work with existing patient navigation teams at area health systems, including
the Matthews Center for Cancer Care at UMCPP. ACS professional staff will spend
two half-days per week at UMCPP as well as at the sites of its other health
system collaboration partners. 

ACS uses a team-based, on-site approach to providing underserved patients with
increased access to essential non-clinical services including transportation,
financial assistance, support services and cancer information. ACS navigators
also link patients to hospital and local community resources. Another key
feature of the program is the close collaboration with health system partners:
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey,
Capital Health System and UMCPP. 

"A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their
families and their caregivers," said Natasha Coleman, MPH, regional vice
president, ACS. "Our patient navigators will be able to provide cancer patients
in Middlesex and Mercer counties support every step of the way, from explaining
what to expect with chemotherapy to making sure patients have transportation to
and from appointments. Fighting cancer is a difficult, challenging journey; with
the help of this grant, patients don't have to go through it alone. This close
collaboration with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University Medical
Center of Princeton at Plainsboro and Capital Health System allows all health
partners to increase our capacity to serve newly diagnosed and underserved
patients in our area." 

Collaborations such as those among UMCPP, ACS and other service organizations
have the potential to make a significant impact on the lives of cancer patients,
says Murdo Gordon, senior vice president, Oncology, U.S. Pharmaceuticals,
Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Bringing together organizations with common goals,
similar programs and potentially complimentary services can lead to efficiencies
in immediately tangible ways," he says. "With the coming changes of the
Affordable Care Act, the financial impact on organizations and individuals will
likely be profound, and the entire cancer community will need to work together
to address these concerns. Collaborative approaches, such as those being taken
by UMCPP and the American Cancer Society, which bring together meaningful
services from various providers to support a given community, is a refreshing
solution." 

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to
discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail
over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com or follow
us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews. 

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than 3 million
volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every
cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the
Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates
in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part
to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless
more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we mark our
100th birthday in 2013, we're determined to finish the fight against cancer.
We're finding cures as the nation`s largest private, not-for-profit investor in
cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and
continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings,
clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight,
call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Princeton HealthCare System

Princeton HealthCare System is a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system
that strives to anticipate and serve the lifelong needs of central New Jersey
residents, including acute care hospital services through University Medical
Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, behavioral healthcare, rehabilitation, home
care, hospice care, ambulatory surgery, a primary and specialty medical
practice, and fitness and wellness services. For more information, visit
www.princetonhcs.org.

Bristol-Myers Squibb
Frederick Egenolf, 609-252-4875, frederick.egenolf@bms.com
or
Princeton HealthCare System
Andy Williams, 609-252-8785, anwilliams@princetonhcs.org
or
American Cancer Society, Central New Jersey Region
Natasha Coleman, 732-951-6376, natasha.coleman@cancer.org

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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