Objectives: To identify the role of patient navigation in decreasing health care disparities through an exemplar of a successful patient navigation program for American Indian populations living in the Northern and Southern Plains of the United States.
Data sources: Published literature and data from the Native Navigators and the Cancer Continuum study.
Conclusion: Native Patient Navigators successfully collaborated with local American Indian organizations to provide cancer education through a series of 24-hour workshops. These workshops increased community knowledge about cancer, influenced cancer screening behaviors, and increased the visibility and availability of the navigators to provide navigation services.
Implications for nursing practice: Reaching those with health care disparities requires multiple strategies. Collaborating with patient navigators who are embedded within and trusted by their communities helps to bridge the gap between patients and providers, increases adherence to care recommendations, and improves quality of life and survival.
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