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Patient Navigation Interventions

As a part of the Women’s Health Unit’s vision to lead the nation in the delivery of equitable, comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate women’s healthcare, much of the unit’s research has focused on patient navigation. First implemented in 1990 by Dr. Harold P. Freeman in Harlem, New York, patient navigation aims to target and eliminate barriers across the continuum of cancer for vulnerable populations.  Through funding from Avon, Dr. Battaglia utilized the principles of patient navigation as defined by Dr. Freeman to conduct a patient navigation intervention in Boston for women with abnormal mammogram results. Subsequently, the Women’s Health Unit was a part of a nine-site National Cancer Institute Patient Navigation Research Program to clearly define patient navigation and test the effectiveness of the intervention. Since this study, the Women’s Health Unit has conducted several studies surrounding patient navigation, including a Patient Navigation Task Analysis and Project SUPPORT. Our current navigation study, Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) is being rolled out at six hospitals across the city of Boston.