GAINESVILLE - The Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology (GASCO) and the Center for Oncology, Research and Education (Georgia CORE) have announced that the first recipient of the Matt Mumber, MD Visionary Award is Lisa Bridges, a nurse and Certified Breast Cancer Navigator at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC). This recognition also comes with a $2,000 grant funded by GASCO and Georgia CORE, founding partners of Cancer Patient Navigators of Georgia (CPNG).
"We're pleased to grant the first of what will be an annual award to recognize and promote outstanding individuals in their work to expand patient navigation services in Georgia," said GASCO Director Karen Beard.
The award was established by the leadership of CPNG and named in honor of a radiation oncologist from Rome, Ga. who used personal and professional capital to champion the concept of better patient care through increased access to trained patient care coordinators (navigators) for Georgia families affected by cancer. The Matt Mumber Visionary Award seeks to recognize a person or program that shares the CPNG vision to improve each cancer patient's personal experience, quality of care and quality of life throughout the entire continuum of care.
"Ms. Bridges was hired as Northeast Georgia Medical Center's first patient navigator, and in just over four years, the program has met the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of more than 1100 breast cancer patients and their families," said Georgia CORE Director Angie Patterson. "In addition to recognizing Ms. Bridges, the award speaks well of the commitment of NGMC, as we reviewed a very strong field of applicants."
Criteria for the award includes a demonstration of Dr. Mumber's passion to care for the whole patient; courage and innovation in advancing the workforce of patient navigators and community health workers; and an ability to bridge traditional medicine with innovations (including alternative/complementary medicine) to improve patient outcomes.
"Lisa's untiring energy and commitment to the patient navigation program is witnessed daily by our staff, physicians and her patients," said Anthony Williamson, vice president of Service Line and Greater Braselton Development at NGMC. "Because of her efforts and the success of the program, there is a common respect and belief at our institution that patient navigation is essential in providing a holistic approach to meeting the needs of our cancer patients."
For more information about the award or the Cancer Patient Navigators of Georgia, please visit www gacancerpatientnavigators.org.