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Care Coordination and the Role of the Oncology Nurse Navigator

With the creation of national standards and core competencies for navigation, hospitals and healthcare organizations still find it challenging to implement or revise their cancer programs. Care coordination and collaboration with hospital administrators and providers is essential. This presentation will define and review the benefits of navigation and care coordination, national standards, value-based care concepts, and measuring success with metrics.

Objectives include:

  • Definition of Navigation and Care Coordination
  • Care Coordination Care Phases, Gaps, and Consequences
  • Commission on Cancer, Chapter 3: Continuum of Care
  • Institute of Medicine Conceptual Framework and Recommendations
  • Navigator Core Competencies and AOSW, NASW, ONS Position Statement
  • Value-Based Care, Oncology Care Models, and Medical Neighborhoods
  • Navigation and Integration with Oncology Hematology Physician Practices
  • Measuring Success with Metrics

Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN

Manager, Oncology Solutions

With more than 30 years of experience in the oncology field, Tricia has worked in a variety of roles, including an oncology nurse, nurse manager, case manager, and most recently a clinical director overseeing a multitude of departments, including cancer care management. Her passion is patient- and family-centered care in the oncology landscape. In conjunction with serving on multiple advisory boards, she has implemented 15 multidisciplinary cancer centers, including breast, lung, head and neck, pancreatic, and various other tumor site–specific teams. Tricia puts this rich work history to practice in consulting on the strategic development and implementation of nurse navigation programs within private practices, hospitals, and health systems across the country. Tricia is a leader in the development of standards and measures for the healthcare community regarding nurse navigation and the development of multidisciplinary cancer care centers. She is also a regular contributor to industry publications, such as Oncology Issues, and has presented multiple times at AONN+’s and ACCC’s national conferences. Additionally, Tricia served as a co-chair on the Quality of Care Committee for NCCCP, which directly lead to the creation of the NCCCP Navigation Networking Committee, where she served as a chair from 2010–2013. Tricia is currently the chair of the AONN+ Evidence into Practice Metrics Subcommittee.


Alina Maleski Smith, MHA

Manager, Oncology Solutions

Alina brings an extensive background in process improvement and data analysis within the healthcare industry to her work with community hospitals, academic medical centers, and health systems. She has recently assisted in successfully negotiating a number of hospital-physician alignments, performing practice assessments, fair market value valuations, and drafting term sheet agreements. She has also completed analytics and presented on environmental assessments for clients, evaluated service area characteristics and market share, conducted confidential interviews with stakeholders and gap analyses of cancer program components, and reported to oncology system planning advisory committees. A recipient of the March 2012 Impact Award for development of analytic tools, she brings an innovative and operational focus to her work to help clients identify cost savings, standardization, and eliminate waste.


Yamile Leon, RN, MSN, OCN, CN-BN

Thoracic Nurse Navigator, Miami Cancer Institute

Yamile has worked in the oncology field for 12 years. She started her career as an oncology nurse and for the past seven years, she has worked as a nurse navigator. Yamile is co-leader of AONN+’s South Florida Local Navigator Network and has recently helped to develop the navigation program and the lung screening program at Miami Cancer Institute. Yamile is focused on ensuring lung cancer patients receive the best cancer care and supporting patients and their families throughout the cancer continuum.