Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention Receives $2.5 Million from the Amgen Foundation to Launch National Patient Navigation Training Institute | Amgen

Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention Receives $2.5 Million from the Amgen Foundation to Launch National Patient Navigation Training Institute

New Institute Will Provide Training for Patient Navigators Across the Country to Help Ensure Cancer Patients Receive Access to Quality Healthcare

NEW YORK & THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and the Amgen Foundation today announced the launch of the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Training Institute. Made possible by a generous $2.5 million leadership grant over three years from the Amgen Foundation, the Institute will provide training to individuals nationwide interested in becoming patient navigators, as well as health care administrators developing patient navigation programs throughout the country and across the world. Within patient navigation programs, cancer patients are assigned a navigator who works directly with them to make appointments, assist them with financial barriers and generally reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment.

The Navigation Training Institute is named in honor of the pioneer of the Patient Navigation concept, Harold P. Freeman, M.D., founder and president of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention located in Harlem, New York. Dr. Freeman is an internationally recognized authority on the interrelationship of race, poverty and cancer. In 1990, Dr. Freeman launched the Patient Navigator Program in Harlem to reduce disparities in access to diagnosis and treatment of cancer particularly among poor and uninsured people. The Center's experience has shown that effective navigation leads to improved patient's retention and increased adherence to treatment.

"We thank the Amgen Foundation for providing this extraordinary gift to launch the Patient Navigation Training Institute. The Institute is designed to create a well trained work force of patient navigators, who will help to eliminate barriers to cancer care at countless underserved sites throughout the nation," said Dr. Freeman.

The Patient Navigation Institute will allow individuals to participate in a comprehensive interactive training curriculum focused on the core competencies needed to establish and implement a patient navigation program and become certified in the Harold P. Freeman model of Patient Navigation. To ensure that health care facilities which serve medically underserved communities across the country have full access to the training, the Institute will selectively award grants to cover tuition, travel and food expenses. It will also create a national database for the collection, analysis and dissemination of information regarding best patient navigation practices.

"The Amgen Foundation is proud to partner with the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention to provide this vital training and to establish a national standard for the important work of patient navigators," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. "This program will also help patients and their families gain greater access to quality healthcare."

Based primarily on Dr. Freeman's Harlem model, the $25 million national "Patient Navigator, Outreach and Chronic Disease Prevention Act" was enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on June 29, 2005. The legislation will make $25 million available to fund pilot patient navigation programs throughout the country. In addition, the National Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities has also allocated $25 million to fund demonstration patient navigation projects, as well as the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which has allocated $25 million to utilize patient navigation amongst their service population.

About The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention
The Ralph Lauren Center was established in 2003 in the heart of Harlem, a community with one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the country. The Center is a unique joint-venture between Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and North General Hospital, offering state-of-the-art diagnostic services, outpatient treatment, counseling, and innovative community outreach strategies to reach the medically underserved in Harlem and surrounding communities. The Center has flourished under the guidance of Dr. Freeman, and its chief executive officer Harold Varmus, M.D., who is also president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Nobel Laureate recognized for his studies of the genetic basis of cancer.

About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made more than $85 million in grants to local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. It has also supported disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.

Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention
Carmen Navarro, 212-987-1777 ext. 230 (media)
Kristen Davis, 805-447-3008 (media)