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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Cancer Navigators Bridging the Gap

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 20, 2013

Think of a compass helping you navigate in the right direction. That’s the inspiration for the Florida Colorectal Cancer Control Program. The program uses cancer navigators to point cancer patients in the direction of treatment and care. These behind-the-scenes community workers have been a key component of the state’s efforts to improve screening rates.

The Tampa Bay area program navigator works with primary care clinics to provide colorectal cancer screening services for patients.  The navigator enlists physicians and other health care professionals in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties to send out patient reminder cards.

In Miami-Dade, the colon cancer navigator worked locally with physicians and insurance companies to get more than 300 patients screened in six months.

North Florida’s navigator works with the North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative to improve colorectal cancer screening access in 11 predominantly rural counties: Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Union, Putnam, Columbia, Hamilton, and Suwannee.

Cancer navigators continue their feet-to-the-pavement outreach in order to guide physicians and patients towards each other, thus helping to bridge to the gap in cancer screening.

Don’t forget about the Florida Department of Health’s Surgeon General Symposium on  Florida’s System of Cancer Care, to be held Friday, April 19, 2013, at the Betty Easley Conference Center located at 4075 Esplanade Way in Tallahassee.  The Symposium seeks to discuss how state and private industry create a collaborative system of cancer care that makes Florida a destination for care, research and prevention. Register online at

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