Interested in our Patient Navigation Training?

Visit our new site to learn more and apply.


Patient Navigation is emerging as a valuable service in cancer care. Traditionally, navigation involves providing patients with an individual who guides or “navigates” them through the medical system, improving access to care and resources to ensure the delivery of appropriate care in a timely fashion.

Smith Center has expanded the concept of patient navigation by developing a unique, groundbreaking integrative navigation model that offers adults facing cancer (and their loved ones) comprehensive, holistic psychosocial support throughout the entire cancer experience, from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship.

Patient Navigation Training at Smith Center

We advocate the use of both medical intervention and complementary supportive modalities in addressing cancer to facilitate healing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Our model contains elements of psychosocial support, experiential instruction, and holistic practices while including more traditional navigational strategies.

Our goal is to educate, support, and empower individuals with cancer so they may:

  • Access all appropriate available resources that will assist them in their healing
  • Improve their quality of life while living with cancer
  • Reduce their stress from dealing with a serious illness
  • Alter their cancer experience in a way that is positive and meaningful for them
  • Smith Center offers Individual Patient Navigation Services through highly-trained Integrative Patient Navigators located at our U Street Center.

Our Navigators assist adults living with cancer by:

  • Educating about the use of both conventional medicine and complementary resources to facilitate physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing;
  • Explaining the relationship of integrative therapies in supporting conventional medical treatment and their role in supporting the participant overall;
  • Encouraging communication with medical teams about any integrative services being considered, and educating participants about the importance of coordinating complementary therapies and conventional treatment;
  • Informing participants about evidence-based integrative therapies that offer a holistic approach to facilitate healing, such as meditation, music, breath work, guided imagery, nutrition, exercise, and support groups;
  • Empowering participants to better manage their care, assisting them with compiling questions for their providers, and supporting them in getting second opinions;
  • Assisting participants in coping with disease and treatment side effects; and
  • Offering reputable integrative cancer care educational literature and information, and connect participants to reputable national and local resources.

We offer confidential individual counseling services as well as educational and experiential workshops on a variety of topics, discussions that address cultural barriers regarding cancer and cancer screening and treatment, and preparatory classes for patients, where they learn about cancer treatments and integrative cancer care services available in the community.

Smith Center has been a leader in patient-centered navigation since 2006.

As a leader in navigation, Smith Center:

  • Created a pioneering integrative cancer navigation model
  • Instituted the first navigation program at Howard University Hospital
  • Expanded the integrative patient navigation model to the underserved communities of Washington DC.
  • Developed National Training in Integrative Cancer Care Navigation
  • Created a professional navigation networking group for Washington DC
  • Led a workgroup on navigation education needs for Washington DC
  • Participated in the country’s first city-wide cancer navigation network

Learn more about the history of Smith Center Patient Navigation services.