Program pairs cancer patients with experts


(CNN) – Getting a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening thing, but a unique program in Alabama gives patients personalized support.

A little over two years ago James and Joyce whitener started on a journey they didn’t choose, and one they really didn’t understand.

James was diagnosed with cancer, but that confusion cleared when John French the 3rd showed up. He’s part of the patient care connect navigator program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“The navigators help them overcome logistical issues, financial issues, emotional issues, social issues. We actually when our navigators first meet the patient and the family they do what we call a modified distress thermometer so they actually go through all the domains of care from emotional financial transportation and so forth and identify you know barriers to receiving the care. And then they are trained to actually help them overcome those barriers,” said Dr. Edward E. Partridge.

“There were just so many things entailed in all of this like paperwork appointments medications things that I did not know about that john checked on,” said James Whitener.

James’ cancer is currently in remission and for the Whiteners, John’s assistance was, and still is, a blessing.

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