NEWS | November 28, 2012

WeCARE! Peer Navigator Program expands to Central Valley

The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center's WeCARE! Cancer Peer Navigators program is coming to the Central Valley.

To support this expansion, Fuzio Universal Bistro in Modesto hosted a "Monday Matters" fundraiser for the WeCARE! program on Nov. 19 and donated 20 percent of the dinner bill from each diner who mentioned WeCARE! or displayed the evening's promotional flier.

"We are extremely pleased to have a partner like Fuzio step up and provide this funding opportunity for us," said Mark Galvan. "WeCARE! is a much-needed program for our city and our region, and the fundraiser gave us a chance to jump-start our efforts to help those going through a very difficult time with cancer."

Galvan helped spearhead the new program at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto after experiencing the challenges of cancer first-hand as a patient a couple of years ago.

The WeCARE! Cancer Peer Navigator program provides special support on a one-to-one basis, matching 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 provide information on the cancer patient's disease and treatment options, as well as resources to help them and those they love. Navigators also are trained to assist with problem-solving and coping strategies and, if desired, a peer navigator can go with the patient to their doctor's visit or treatments.

The program was founded by Marlene von Friederichs-Fitzwater, director of the cancer center's Outreach Research and Education Program. Since the program began in 2009, it has expanded to Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee, Fremont-Rideout Cancer Center in Marysville, Feather River Hospital Cancer Center in Paradise and the University of Nebraska Medical Center Cancer Program in Omaha, Neb.

A new WeCARE! program recently trained caregivers to offer peer coaching to other cancer caregivers who may suffer their own health issues while taking care of loved ones during cancer treatment.

For more information on the new WeCARE! program in Modesto, contact Galvan at (209) 380-0550.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations. For more information, visit