Patient Navigation

“Our navigators have held hundreds of hands, answered thousands of questions, and helped even the youngest child understand what is happening to Mommy.”

Our Patient Navigators will guide you through care

“The uninsured women who come to me from The Rose are the best-informed patients I see.”
-Methodist Oncologist

Imagine being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, having no insurance, working just above minimum pay, and having limited English language skills. That is the profile for most of the uninsured women we diagnose with breast cancer. Many have never been to the hospital except to have a baby, and none are familiar with the overwhelming complexities of traditional medicine.

For over 150 uninsured women each year, our patient navigators are lifelines to treatment and her constant resource throughout her care. The Rose formalized the first patient navigation program in greater Houston in 1999, employing certified lay patient navigators and nurse navigators. Our program, with its unique and comprehensive patient tracking system, has been replicated throughout the nation. But our patients don’t care about tracking, or certifications or replications; they only know that the care they receive is like no other.

From the moment the woman receives her diagnosis, her patient navigator is by her side. The primary ‘job’ of the patient navigator is to move her quickly into treatment. That means completing the application process for the state treatment program: Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS). Not only must each patient have a confirmed diagnosis, but she must also meet financial and residency criteria and a dozen other requirements.

Once her treatment is arranged, navigators provide extensive education about her diagnosis, the type of breast cancer and its stage, what the patient can expect in the days to come, the different treatments and their side effects and how to prepare her family and friends for the time ahead. Many times the navigator accompanies her patient to their first consultation, being sure she understands what the physician is saying and  helping her ask the right questions.


Breast cancer survivor Juana pictured with Patient Navigator, Maria Linares

Navigation doesn’t end until the patient has completed treatment; for some, that means follow-up for five years. Our navigators, Elizabeth, Maria, and Laura, help her obtain other services such as financial aid for bills, transportation, finding daycare for children, food pantries; the list is endless because the needs of the woman battling cancer are endless.

“Our navigators have held hundreds of hands, answered thousands of questions, and helped even the youngest child understand what is happening to Mommy.”
-Dorothy Gibbons, CEO & Co-Founder of The Rose

The stories our patients share about them says it all; they have found a trusted friend who will be with them all the way through. A friend whose only wish is to celebrate every day of survival with them.

Sponsored care funded by the following grant:

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Our Mission
Saving lives through quality breast health services, advocacy and access to care for all.