Dear Navigators, Social Workers, Administrators, and Clinical Staff,
The principles of navigation have been effectively disseminated across many oncology specialties. Making its debut in breast cancer, navigation strategies and tactics have been quickly adopted by other solid tumor types and blazed a trail into hematology/oncology practices as well. While the particulars within each specialty can be customized to fit patients’ needs, the concept remains the same. Navigators are experts at identifying and removing barriers to care for their patients and by doing so can improve patient outcomes as well as patient experience.
In this special issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS), we focus on key issues for navigating patients with hematologic malignancies. We acknowledge the impact navigators have on patients in our first article entitled “Role of Oncology Nurse Navigators in Hematologic Malignancies: Patient Education and Empowerment.” I hope you never lose sight of the power of your impact to empower your patients—one of the benefits of an empowered patient is a patient who is engaged in their treatment plan and adheres to their therapy. We address adherence issues in the article “The Importance of Medication Adherence in Patients with Chronic Hematologic Malignancies.”
We continue by highlighting recent advances in several disease states: myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and leukemia and lymphoma. The issue concludes with a contribution about long-term toxicities in survivors of hematologic malignancies.
On behalf of all of us at the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators and JONS, we salute you. Thank you for your tireless pursuit of optimal care for your patients. We hope we are a powerful resource for you in this endeavor.
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer; Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer of Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions; Co-Founder of AONN+.