Background for the NW PNP Program
In February 2001, Dr. Harold Freeman presided over a President's Cancer Panel meeting in Los Angeles. The Panel heard testimony regarding cancer disparities among American Indians in Indian country from a representative of the Yakama Nation in Washington State. This was followed in July 2002 with a visit by Dr. Freeman and the Panel to the Yakama Nation. This visit resulted in a report titled Facing Cancer in Indian Country* and spearheaded the concept for the NW PNP pilot study.
In September 2002, through an Interagency Agreement with the Portland Area Indian Health Service and in collaboration with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, CRCHD implemented a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of Patient Navigators among American Indians in improving timeliness of cancer diagnosis and access to standard cancer care.