Peer Navigator Program — Patient Support
The Community-Based Cancer Peer Navigator program provides special support on a one-to-one basis. It matches newly diagnosed cancer patients with trained cancer survivors. The program is available to any newly diagnosed cancer patient, regardless of where the patient receives treatment.
Peer navigators are survivors who have been trained to be “cancer coaches.” They will provide information on your disease and treatment options, as well as resources to help you and those you love. They are also trained to assist you with problem-solving and coping strategies. If desired, a peer navigator can go with you to your doctor’s visit or treatments.
Our patients tell us . . .
“The information that was provided to me was exactly what I needed to feel less anxious and scared when I met with the surgeon.”
“It has been so reassuring to have someone with me during treatments who has survived cancer and who can help me on this journey. I don’t feel so alone.”
The UC Davis Cancer Peer Navigator program relies on cancer survivors who want to become volunteer cancer coaches and mentors for newly diagnosed patients.
As a Cancer Peer Navigator, you will learn how to assist cancer patients through the diagnosis and treatment process. Your role is to help cancer patients learn strategies to reduce anxiety, solve problems, understand and cope with treatment options. Many of our Cancer Peer Navigators have discovered working with new patients is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Who is eligible to become a Cancer Peer Navigator?
All Cancer Peer Navigators must fulfill the following requirements:
- Be a cancer survivor who completed treatments at least two years ago
- Have access to a personal computer and email to use our customized software to work with patients
- Complete a short screening interview to demonstrate good interpersonal and communication skills
- Complete a one-day training and be available for monthly update meetings
- Availability to work with a patient for up to three to six months
What is the time commitment to be a Cancer Peer Navigator?
Many of our Cancer Peer Navigators are able to actively work with a patient while working full-time, taking time for raising a family and continuing on with life events such as vacations and retirements. During the process of becoming a Cancer Peer Navigator you will provide information on your availability. Some patients will need a lot of assistance from their Cancer Peer Navigator, which may include going to treatments or doctor’s appointments. Other patients may just need a Cancer Peer Navigator to meet or talk on the phone with on occasion. Before assigning new patients to a Cancer Peer Navigator, we take all these needs into consideration. We do require that all Cancer Peer Navigators attend a minimum of two full days of training per year (held on Saturdays) and attend a monthly meeting.
What if I don’t live near Sacramento and I didn’t complete my treatment at UC Davis?
Cancer Peer Navigators do not need to be former patients of UC Davis, and we have a variety of Cancer Peer Navigators who have received treatments around California and out of state. Even if you live a far distance from Sacramento, you can still participate. We have many patients who live in outlying areas of Northern California who could really use your mentorship and guidance.
To learn more about becoming a Cancer Peer Navigator: