United Way gives grant to cancer patient navigation at GMC

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The United Way has given the American Cancer Society a large grant for its patient resource navigation program at Gwinnett Medical Center.

The American Cancer Society announced Tuesday the $27,500 grant from the United Way of Metro Atlanta. The navigation program provides information and assistance to cancer patients, and particularly to newly diagnosed ones.

"People who are diagnosed with cancer often do not know where to turn for information and assistance," said Jennifer Beck, ACS' patient resource navigator at GMC. "The American Cancer Society's patient navigators provide much-needed support for cancer patients and their families and resolve issues that can prevent patients from receiving regular cancer treatment."

The program also refers patients to other ACS programs and clinical trials, as well as helping with finances, housing and transportation. Launched at GMC in 2008, the program has served more than 1,000 cancer patients. More than 40 percent were under- or uninsured, officials said.

The United Way also awarded similar grants for resource navigation at DeKalb Medical Center, Grady Memorial Hospital and Northside Hospital, all in the Atlanta area.