Patient Navigation

St.Vincent Cancer Patient Navigation

All of the St. Vincent Navigators are good at de-mystifying the medical terms and stating things plainly. We know when you feel confident about the information you are getting, then together the care plan is stronger and better for your overall wellbeing.

St. Vincent Patient Navigators serve all types of cancer patients at any point in their journey

Have you met our St. Vincent Cancer Care Patient Navigators? In person or a phone call away (317-338-3900) our patient navigators are experienced in all types of cancer. No question is too small or insignificant for a patient navigator to answer. St. Vincent patient navigators are nurses or social workers with years of training as cancer care health professionals. They are a bridge to local resources and health services that can help lessen the stress and anxiety that comes with a cancer diagnosis. These services are provided at no cost to St. Vincent Cancer Care patients. A patient navigator can be contacted directly with or without a physician referral.

"We help patients through the shock of a cancer diagnosis and throughout treatment. Whether it's translating medical terms, or holding the hand of the patient through his or her first chemo or radiation treatment, we're a resource for getting answers to your questions. We strive to anticipate what you'll need to know next, because we have been there many times before."
-- Missy Andres, Manager, St. Vincent Cancer Care Patient Navigators

St. Vincent Patient Navigators are resources to patients with these types of cancer:

  • Blood cancers
  • Brain and spinal tumors
  • Breast cancers
  • Cancers in the chest (including lung)
  • Gastrointestinal cancers (including CRC)
  • Genital-urinary (urologic) cancers in men and women
  • Gynecologic (female) cancers
  • Head and neck cancrs
  • Sarcomas (including bone)
  • Skin cancers


Unlike other cancer treatment centers, St. Vincent navigators are specialized across many types of cancers. In fact the Patient Navigation team includes oncology specialists trained in all types of adult cancers.

This service is available to all cancer care patients and can start at any point – from the time of diagnosis through the treatment plan. Survivorship navigation continues for a lifetime. 

  • Making sure you receive timely care 
  • Connecting you and your loved ones to the next steps in the cancer survivorship journey
  • Removing barriers (like transportation, financial, and emotional) that may delay the continuity of care
  • Identifying options and opportunities for greater quality of life, including other St. Vincent Supportive Services and local resources
  • Navigating the forks in the road and bridging opportunities to patient and caregiver support
  • Walking with you side-by-side through your treatment plan and attending appointments if it's helpful 

Cancer can be very stressful. Our physicians and navigators use a Well-being Screening Tool to help gauge your level of stress (0-10) and mark the issues of concern while providing suggestions to help regain a sense of control.

Cancer Care Journal Binder

Daily Tip - Use a journal to write down concerns as well as the things you are thankful for that day. This Cancer Journal and binder to organize paperwork are available at no cost to all St. Vincent Cancer Care patients. Write down your questions and share them with the patient navigator and your physician.   

  • Practical Concerns like insurance, transportation, returning to work, child care and adapting the home for your recovery.
  • Family Concerns including how to tell a child about cancer, informing a spouse, family and friends and how to best use their support, and genetic implications of the cancer diagnosis and how this impacts family planning.
  • Emotional Concerns including fears, sadness, worry, loss of interest in usual activities and conflicted spiritual and religious feelings. 
  • Physical Concerns ranging from appearance, eating, memory and concentration problems to poor sleep and tingling in the hands and feet.

Cancer Care Tip - Having a spouse, friend or navigator at an appointment is often helpful. A second set of ears will listen on your behalf and record the information you gain from the physician.

St. Vincent patient navigators care enough to ask

For some, it's hard to express in words the concern and distress you feel from hearing the word cancer. Patient navigators are here to help patients and their loved ones cope and find resources to lessen the burden.

The American Cancer Society says, “Receiving support from a patient navigator can make a difference in the way newly diagnosed cancer patients feel about their care.” Medical studies report that patients who work with a navigator have a better overall experience and tend to have fewer problems with the emotional side of cancer, transitioning to home and work, coordinating treatments, and health information. (Journal of Clinical Oncology)

Many types of navigation available through St. Vincent Cancer Care

In addition to the patient navigator, St. Vincent has an Image Navigator who is onsite and on-call to answer all types of questions related to chest x-rays, lung scans, digital mammography and 3-D breast studies. The Image Navigator helps inform patients about the next steps to scheduling an appointment with a physician.

A St. Vincent Survivorship Navigator focuses on wellness and support, often bridging the void after the primary treatment program is completed. This navigator is a link to the many holistic, complimentary programs such as support groups, art therapy, yoga and many other education wellness programs available at no cost to St. Vincent cancer patients.

For children and families combating cancer, the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital has Pediatric Oncology Nurses who provide special navigation services to the families of the children.