Find Your Way

Taking the Mystery Out of the Medical System
Making your way through the medical system, whether you’re trying to understand your insurance coverage, help a loved one navigate through a health crisis, or are facing a complex diagnosis yourself can be a major challenge. In “Find Your Way,” we offer articles that explain and offer solutions to areas within the complicated medical system that may be confusing or overwhelming. Explanations of various insurance and financial issues, insight from social workers and healthcare advocates, our regular “Ask the Doctor” feature, and other helpful features make up this department.

Getting the Most from Your Doctor Visit

By Laurie Wertich If you’re faced with a health problem or serious illness, you know how overwhelming it can be to visit doctors, undergo tests, and get information. In fact, it’s so overwhelming that we often walk out of the doctor’s office even more confused than when we entered. A little advanced preparation can ensure […]

Do It Your Way

To quote the comedienne Gilda Radner, “It’s always something.” This statement resonates for many of us throughout our daily lives as we manage busy schedules, looming obligations, and never-ending deadlines. But when you are confronted with a life-threatening health challenge such as a cancer diagnosis, Gilda’s words truly hit home: there is always something. In […]

Healthcare Reform: How Will It Affect you?

By Jamilla Williams Director of Case Managers, Patient Advocate Foundation After years of debate, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010, by President Barack Obama. This new healthcare reform law is estimated to provide coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently […]

Working Through Cancer? Know Your Rights.

To say that a cancer diagnosis is an overwhelming experience is an understatement. Upon hearing “You have cancer,” your mind is likely filled with thoughts and concerns about treatment, the impact of your diagnosis on family, financial matters, and your own mortality—among many other issues. But what about your job? How will this diagnosis affect […]

Meet Your Social Worker

This essential member of your healthcare team may be your greatest ally when you face a cancer diagnosis. By Kathy Gurland, LCSW Cancer Navigation Consultant™ What is a social worker, and why do I need one? Clinical social workers are licensed mental health professionals held to high ethical standards. They must pass a state-licensing exam […]

Ask the Doctor: Why Seek Out a Women’s Health Center?

By Joanna Cain, MD Chace/Joukowsky Professor and Chair, OB/GYN Assistant Dean for Women’s Health Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University Q. I have recently moved to a new city and am looking at my healthcare options. A friend suggested that I consider a women’s health center. What are the benefits of seeking care at a […]

Ask the Doctor: Finding the Right Treatment Center

By David P. Winchester, MD, FACS Chair, National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and Medical Director of Cancer Programs, American College of Surgeons Q. I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and am now researching treatment centers. Are there specific services I should look for or important questions that I should be sure to […]

Money Matters

Managing the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis can seem overwhelming, but there are resources available to help. By Diana Price You have just been diagnosed with cancer. You grapple with the physical reality of the diagnosis, you rise to the challenge of making important treatment decisions, and you face another—sometimes shocking—reality of your new […]

Hope Coach

Cancer navigators offer patients guidance as they find their way through a cancer journey. By Sally Abrahms In 1992 Anne McNerney was an insurance company executive and the mother of four children under the age of five, including two-year-old twins. One day she found herself racing between hospitals: her husband was in one with a […]

A Survivor’s Compass

Empower yourself with an advocate’s attitude as you navigate your own cancer journey. By Kathryn Gurland, LCSW; Cancer Navigation Consultant Most of us go through our adult lives aware that there are many things over which we have no control. But the words “you have cancer” can leave you reeling with the reality of this […]