American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator for Cuyahoga County Now Based at Parma Hospital’s Cancer Center
The American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigators collectively field thousands of calls per year, assisting cancer patients with the myriad issues associated with batting a complex disease. Now, all the calls from Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties will be answered by a Patient Navigator based at Parma Community General Hospital.
As a Patient Navigator for the past nine years, Melissa Davis knows that cancer patients often have issues that extend far beyond deciding which treatment to pursue. She leaves those questions to the medical professionals. But, with the resources of the American Cancer Society, she has an equally valuable role: helping individuals locate information about their diagnosis, find answers about insurance and prescription drug coverage, find transportation for treatment and access other community-based resources to help them in their journey.
“The most important thing for cancer patients is to get the treatment they need so they are able to get well,” said Al Stabilito, Northeast Ohio Public Relations Director of the American Cancer Society. “Part of our mission is to ensure patients are able to get the resources they need so they may fully recover and are able to live long, productive lives. However, with a cancer diagnosis comes a list of other questions and issues. That’s where the Patient Navigator comes into play.”
The American Cancer Society has 16 Patient Navigators across the state. Patient Navigators have assisted patients in a wide range of situations, from assisting a single woman with insurance paperwork, financial assistance for her chemotherapy medications and rides to her appointments to helping another patient with legal and financial issues so she wouldn’t lose her home or her car.
Davis has touched many lives, such as the woman with breast cancer who needed help with home repairs and the lung cancer patient who wanted a bed so he could remain comfortably in his home during treatment. She researches local and national resources, from non-profit organizations to churches, to find solutions that work.
“I am available to anyone who has a cancer issue,” said Davis, who previously worked out of Hope Lodge on Cleveland’s east side and looks forward to being established at a hospital. “Working out of the Resource Library at Parma Hospital’s Cancer Center gives me visibility for patients and their families and direct access to all the resources the hospital and the community provide.”
Alisa Mazzarella, the manager of Parma Hospital’s Cancer Center, is pleased to welcome Davis to the community hospital setting. The Cancer Center at Parma Hospital, an affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Center Institute, combines the skill and experience of medical and radiation oncology specialists from the Cleveland Clinic – ranked #1 in Ohio by US News and World Report – with the excellent, personalized care of a community hospital setting. In extending accreditation with commendation, the Commission on Cancer noted that the Cancer Center exceeds standards, giving special recognition to the Center's quality improvements, compliance and active outreach program.
“The patient navigator will only enhance the personalized care that Parma Hospital provides,” Mazzarella said.
Melissa Davis can be reached through the American Cancer Society’s toll-free number at 888-227-6446, ext. 8052. To locate a Patient Navigator in another region of the state, call 800-227-2345.