Learning Center

The Role of Patient Navigation in Improving Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Includes a Live Web Event on 06/12/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

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    • General Attendee - Free!
    • Speaker - Free!
    • Prevent Cancer Foundation Staff - Free!

Patient navigation has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy to overcome barriers and improve cancer screening. In this session, speakers will share best practices in which successful patient navigation implementation can help reduce disparities and improve cancer screening.  

Learning Objectives:
1.  Identify barriers that prevent individuals from completing routine cancer screening.
2.  Define patient navigation and its role in cancer screening and early detection.
3.  Discuss how patient navigation can be used to help overcome barriers, reduce disparities and improve cancer screening to enhance health outcomes.

Michelle S. Williams, Ph.D., MSPH, MPH, MCHES®, FAACE

George Mason University

Dr. Michelle S. Williams is an associate professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University. She earned a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Public Health at Florida A&M University. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health. She completed her postdoctoral training in the UAB-VA Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research (HSOER) training program, during which she also earned a Master of Science of Public Health in Health Outcomes Research.

Dr. Williams is a health behavior scientist who develops and disseminates population specific health behavior interventions for cancer prevention and control. She is focused on disseminating and implementing interventions that will lead to a reduction in cancer disparities. Dr. Williams’ research interests include cancer disparities, cancer prevention behaviors, Community-Based Participatory Research, dissemination and implementation science, qualitative research, and mixed methods research.

Monica Dean

Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators+

As Director of Patient Navigation Program Development, Monica works on strengthening and forging relationships with advocacy groups to advance collaborative projects. She received her bachelor’s degree in health science with a minor in nutrition from Georgia Southern University.

Monica liaises with pharmaceutical interests to develop funding and support specifically for patient navigation educational initiatives.

She is also a member of the Professional Oncology Navigation Task Force, where she helped in the creation of the Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice, providing clinical oncology nurse navigators, social work navigators, and patient navigators with clear information regarding best practices in the provision of professional care. This includes the knowledge and skills all professional navigators should possess to deliver high-quality, competent, and ethical services to people impacted by cancer.

Before joining AONN+, Monica was Director of the National Navigation Roundtable (NNRT) at the American Cancer Society global headquarters. She was responsible for supporting, planning, and implementing initiatives of the NNRT, overseeing long-term activities, and enacting strategic plans and task group action plans while creating and maintaining collaborative relationships with external partners and roundtable member organizations. Monica has been working in the field of patient navigation since 2007.

Paris Thomas, Ph.D.

Equal Hope

Dr. Paris Thomas is a devoted health and racial equity leader, researcher, and advocate based in Chicago. As the Executive Director of Equal Hope, she plays a pivotal role in driving the organization's mission to promote health equity and eliminate disparities for historically marginalized communities through culturally competent interventions.

Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Dr. Thomas has a deep-rooted passion for promoting health equity. Her motivation stems from personal experiences within her own family, where she witnessed the impact of the healthcare system on their health outcomes. Driven by a desire to create positive change, Dr. Thomas has dedicated her career to promoting health through intersectionality and innovative strategies that improve access to care for under-resourced communities.

Dr. Thomas boasts an impressive academic background, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physiology from Grand Valley State University, a Master of Science Degree in Public Health Education from the University of Cincinnati, and a PhD in Health Sciences from Northern Illinois University. Her doctorate research focused on the lived experiences of high-risk Black men exposed to community violence in Chicago, shedding light on their unique health challenges and behaviors.

Throughout her career, Dr. Thomas has actively led health equity initiatives across various sectors of the healthcare field. From working with Federally Qualified Health Centers to Managed Care Organizations, Quality Improvement Agencies, and Hospitals, she has consistently championed the cause of creating an equitable healthcare system for individuals of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Currently, Dr. Thomas is immersed in expanding Equal Hope's successful health equity model. Her focus includes increasing diversity and inclusion in clinical trials, as well as ensuring reproductive justice for women in Illinois. Alongside her professional endeavors, Dr. Thomas is also a proud wife and mother to three amazing children.

Dr. Paris Thomas continues to be an exemplary leader in the pursuit of health equity and a beacon of hope for marginalized communities. Her commitment to promoting equality in healthcare is evident in her strategic vision, research, and tireless efforts to improve the lives of others. With her expertise and passion, Dr. Thomas is making a significant impact on the journey towards a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system.

Courtney Downs

Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition

Courtney Downs currently serves as the Viral Hepatitis Treatment Coordinator and Health Educator at the Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition, based in Roanoke, Virginia. She also holds the position of Co-Chair at the Virginia Hepatitis Coalition and is a proud member of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable Advisory Committee. With a background as a Permanent Supportive Housing case manager, EMT, and Registered Nurse, Courtney's professional journey is marked by a commitment to public health and supporting the marginalized populations within her community. Her personal lived experience with Hepatitis C, chaotic IV substance use, homelessness, and trauma has endowed her with profound insights that have been pivotal in shaping a pioneering model of care that effectively addresses the needs of individuals facing similar struggles. Courtney's transformation from overcoming personal hurdles to becoming a beacon of hope for others is a testament to her resilience and dedication to advocacy.

Dung Hua

Vital Access Care Foundation

Dung Hua is currently the Director of Programs at the Vital Access Care Foundation, previously known as the Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation, in Orange County, California, where she oversees the development and implementation of all community programs. These include outreach and education, community training, patient navigation, screenings, cancer care coordination and social services. These programs provide linguistically and culturally appropriate health communication, promotion and continuum of care services focusing on a primarily Vietnamese-speaking immigrant community, in which cancer continues to be the top cause of mortalities. As a Vietnamese immigrant, she is bilingual and bi-cultural, with a clinical background supporting her desire and passion to share knowledge, navigate and empower the undeserved immigrant population moving towards health equity.


06/12/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes
06/12/2024 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  90 minutes Patient navigation has been demonstrated to be an effective strategy to overcome barriers and improve cancer screening. In this session, speakers will share best practices in which successful patient navigation implementation can help reduce disparities and improve cancer screening. Moderated discussion and Q&A will immediately follow these presentations.
Attestation of Attendance
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Agree to terms to continue.
Program Evaluation
0 Question  |  1 attempt  |  0/0 points to pass
0 Question  |  1 attempt  |  0/0 points to pass
CHES Certificate
0.00 credits  |  Certificate available
0.00 credits  |  Certificate available
CNE Certificate
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0.00 credits  |  Certificate available
Program Evaluation for The Role of Patient Navigation in Improving Cancer Screening and Early Detection
19 Questions
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Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES): 

Sponsored by the Prevent Cancer Foundation (provider number 125052), a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., this program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES®) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES®) to receive up to 1.5 total Category I Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH). Maximum advanced-level Continuing Education Contact Hours available are 0. Continuing Competency credits available are 0. Content will be provided in the following areas of responsibility for health education specialists: Area V: Advocacy.


This activity has been evaluated and approved by the Continuing Education Approval Program of the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health for 1.5 CE continuing education contact hours. NPWH Activity number 24-10. CA CEP Number 13411