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Adolescent and Young Adult Patient Navigation Program Opens

Alexandra GubinA new Adolescent and Young Adult Patient Navigation Program has opened at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in conjunction with the Ulman Cancer Fund. The navigation services will assist teenagers and young adults with cancer in making informed decisions about their treatment options by offering individual and group support, and connecting them to financial, psychosocial, practical, and educational resources.

Alexandra Gubin, MSW, LGSW has been named as the Patient Navigator. She comes to the program with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and  also has an extensive background in establishing and executing programmatic and clinical support initiatives for adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

"We're very excited about working with the Ulman Cancer Foundation on this important aspect of cancer care. Young adults have unique needs that are separate from kids with cancer and also different from adults who are in their thirties, forties and older. With Ms Gubin on board providing clinical social work services, patient navigation and innovative programs for this population, we're able to more fully integrate all our patients' needs," says Donald Small, M.D, Ph.D., director, Division of Pediatric Oncology, at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Kimmel Cancer Center Director William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., added, "The Ulman Patient Navigator Program is an essential component to our commitment to survivorship issues. Young adults going through treatment are looking forward to the day when cancer no longer dominates lives and we help them get there in the most positive way possible."

“We are excited to add Johns Hopkins to our impressive list of cancer centers we partner with in the region,” said UCF President and CEO Brock Yetso. “By combining our expertise, we can make a real difference by expanding services to help adolescents and their families at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, as well as young adults, navigate the daunting landscape of a cancer diagnosis. We will be able to offer a unique level of service to these patients in their fight against cancer.  This will only enhance our efforts to ensure that the special needs of younger cancer patients are addressed.”

With the launch of the Patient Navigation Program at Kimmel, the Ulman Cancer Fund now runs four such programs at major cancer centers in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area. UCF has offered free patient navigation services out of its offices since the organization was established in 1997.

The program will be largely financed by fundraising efforts of 4K for Cancer, a non-profit organization that was recently acquired by UCF.  4K for Cancer coordinates teams of college students to cycle across the country while raising money and awareness for the fight against cancer. Founded in 2001 at Johns Hopkins University, 4K for Cancer became a part of UCF to enhance its ability to activate more college students in the young adult cancer fight.

About Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults:
The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF), founded in 1997, is the national leader in providing specialized support for young adults affected by cancer.  With nearly 70,000 young adults diagnosed every year, our organization helps young people fight the disease and navigate treatment by providing access to information, support groups, and other specialized programs. UCF Patient Navigation Programs have set a national standard and can be accessed remotely or through onsite Patient Navigators at a growing number of hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic region. UCF is a founding member of the LIVESTRONGTM Young Adult Alliance and a national pioneer in developing innovative approaches in cancer support. UCF enhances lives by supporting, educating and connecting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer.