Think Pink! Pathways Receives National Recognition

By: Lesley Andrews, Pathways Director

Pathways provides an oasis of hope for women with cancer.  The programs we offer, free-of-charge, provide them with nourishment, the strength to persevere and, often, a way to make meaning of their disease.

One Pathways program which empowers women with breast and gynecological cancer and enhances humanistic medical care is receiving national attention.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (“AAMC”) accepted the Pathways Women’s Cancer Teaching Project as a “Curricular Innovation” for medical schools across the country.

The Teaching Project offers two unique educational sessions to residents and nurses plus medical, nursing, physician assistant and pastoral care students at 18 institutions in New Jersey.  The goal of the Project is to foster patient-centered, humanistic care within the healthcare community by allowing the healthcare professionals and students to interact with our trained cancer survivors (“Patient Educators”) as they relay their cancer journeys in a professional, yet intimate and open setting.  The sessions offered include an interactive panel presentation by our Patient Educators and a separate, intensive one-on-one interviewing session between the Patient Educator and healthcare professional or student.   For the past 13 years, the Pathways Patient Educators have worked with over 4,500 healthcare professionals and students, offering them an extraordinary opportunity to deepen their understanding of the perspectives, fears, needs and hopes of cancer patients.

After the Pathways Patient Educators met with 180 first-year Rutgers NJ Medical School students in Newark in 2015, Associate Professor, Dr. Sophia Chen, and Associate Dean, Dr. Sangeeta Lamba, were so impressed with the Project that they submitted an abstract to AAMC.  Dr. Chen will present the Project at the AAMC annual meeting in November, describing it as an invaluable learning tool in medical school curriculums.  The Patient Educators are meeting with the 2016 first-year Rutgers NJ Medical School students again in November.

Congratulations to the Pathways Patient Educators for continuing to pay it forward and pave the way toward improved compassionate medical care for future patients!

The Connection Thinks Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month and all year long. To learn more about Pathways visit our website.

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