Partnership gives cancer navigation program a boost

ELLSWORTH — Healthy Acadia and the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center have announced a new partnership with the Christine B. Foundation to strengthen the Downeast Cancer Patient Navigation Program.

The Christine B. Foundation has joined the leadership committee as well as invested $10,000 in this program serving the Washington County cancer community.

In 2008, at age 47, Christine B. Dexter lost her battle to stomach cancer. A loving wife, mother, sister and friend to many, Christine’s passion was to build strong relationships between family and communities as a whole.

Her son, Matt, founded the Christine B. Foundation in 2014 as a single fundraising run to support surrounding organizations working to build a community of support for those affected by cancer in eastern Maine.

The Downeast Cancer Patient Navigation Program was launched in late 2016 to serve community members across the continuum of care, in collaboration with other partners in Washington County, a region of high cancer incidence, mortality and limited access to care.

Cancer patient navigators support patients at all stages of their cancer journeys. Navigators also provide prevention and education services in communities across Washington County to reduce cancer rates and increase early detection and treatment.

A three-year grant from the Maine Cancer Foundation’s Challenge Cancer 2020 Initiative provides partial funding for the Downeast Cancer Patient Navigation Program, and requires the partners to raise local matching funds to continue and to further develop the program into years two and three.

To date, the Downeast Cancer Patient Navigation Program has helped more than 160 cancer patients and caregivers to navigate the health care and social service systems and access appropriate diagnostic, treatment, recovery, support and financial services.

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