Individual Patient Navigation


Smith Center’s Approach to Patient Navigation

Individual Patient Navigation

Our unique approach to navigation is designed to help people engage their own innate healing responses to live better and potentially longer lives. Our goal is to empower each person to take a more active role in their healing and well-being through education, information, assistance with resources, and emotional support.

We meet each individual wherever they are in dealing with their cancer, and work alongside them to make the experience less stressful and more in alignment with their lives. In other words, we adapt the system to the patient, so that the unique needs and circumstances of each individual are addressed.

Our expanded integrative navigation model advocates the use of integrative therapies that can support the individual physically, in better coping with the side effects of cancer and its treatments as well as in recovery. We also offer many creative resources that address the emotional and spiritual issues raised by a cancer diagnosis, offering opportunities for healing on all levels.

Your Smith Center Navigator serves as your personal guide, assisting you in identifying your unique barriers to healing from cancer, and helping you in finding resources and support for addressing your concerns.

What to Expect from Individual Patient Navigation.

Individual Navigation is coordinated through our U Street offices under the direction of our on-site navigator and the Director of Integrative Navigation, Carole O’Toole. She will work with you or refer you to a navigator who can meet with you in person or by telephone to provide support from the time you are diagnosed through treatment and recovery.

Sessions with our navigator will help you identify your most immediate concerns and questions, offering information, advice, and tools to help you access your inner knowledge and cope with your illness with greater confidence and less stress. You will be introduced to appropriate services and resources available to you that support your total healing.

If you are living with cancer and interested in working with a patient navigator, please call us at 202.483.8600 or email

Sessions can be scheduled for up to one hour and appointments are preferred. All conversations are confidential and are offered to individuals and/or their caregivers. These sessions are offered free of charge but we suggest making a donation if you are able to do so.

Making The Journey Easier

Your Smith Center Navigator can assist you with whatever concerns you may face, such as:

  • Understanding your diagnosis and what it means for you
  • Developing positive connections to family, friends, your medical team and to your self
  • Coping with treatment decisions and managing appointments
  • Dealing with treatment side effects
  • Reducing stress
  • Receiving emotional and spiritual support
  • Balancing your life with cancer
  • Connecting to others with cancer
  • Preparing for medical procedures

Moving Towards Wellness

Your Navigator will assist you in learning ways to best support yourself while living with cancer, providing you with information, instruction and access to resources in such areas as:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Creative Arts
  • Integrative Treatments
  • Support Groups
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