BOSTON - Ana Marin has joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as the American Cancer Society/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) patient navigator, to help patients deal with the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer. A grant from AstraZeneca to the American Cancer Society has allowed BIDMC to expand its existing free and confidential Patient Navigator Program to include Marin, a native Spanish speaker.
Focused on eliminating barriers to cancer care for the medically underserved, patient navigators provide personal assistance to patients and their caregivers to help them negotiate the health care system throughout the disease continuum - from the time of diagnosis, through treatment and into survivorship.
"I think the extra time we're able to spend with patients is key because that's when they open up," said Marin. "When they're with the doctor, sometimes they're too quiet or shy or even forgetful. Everything is going so fast that they don't think about all the things they want to ask until it's over."
A former medical interpreter, Marin helps bridge the gap between patients and multiple health care professionals in the patient's first language, Spanish. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in the United States and according to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Hispanic adults, second only to heart disease.
"The American Cancer Society/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Patient Navigator Program will enable us to assist patients with personalized community resources and support," said Barbara Sarnoff Lee, director of social work at the hospital. "This program proactively reaches patients who are most in need of specialized services and support, providing the critical link to local resources that will improve their outcomes and quality of life."
Formally launched in 2005, the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program is conducted in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers, directly connecting patients to a cancer education and support specialist known as a patient navigator.
"A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their families and their caregivers," said Donald J. Gudaitis, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, New England Division. "The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program connects people with the programs and resources they need to overcome obstacles and barriers to their care so they can focus on getting well."
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers that combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back against the disease. For more information any time, call toll-free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit
AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and in the supply of health care services. For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or the AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit