Long Island College Hospital

Program Support

Best Practices

Long Island College Hospital1

The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) began a breast health navigator program at its Othmer Cancer Center. Because of its diverse patient population along with the number of women who obtain health care services at LICH clinics, the staff identified a need for additional support in the area of breast health and breast cancer. They reviewed and researched various patient assistance programs; however, a patient navigation program seemed best for their organization. The LICH program:

  • Incorporated a component on data collection so that outcomes and costs savings could be measured and evaluated
  • Added a problem-solving or algorithm process
  • Expanded the role of the breast health navigators to enable them to track the patient throughout her battle with breast cancer.

The LICH breast health navigator program proved successful through both outcomes data that were captured and based on individual comments. One area that was handled particularly well was successful collaboration within the cancer care team (eg, surgeons and radiologists):

"…the collaborative efforts between the breast health navigator and the radiology and mammography staff have been essential for the project's success. Our combined efforts are aimed at ensuring that the patients who need our services the most do not fall through the cracks. We do this through good communication among ourselves, resolving problems quickly, patient phone calls, recall letters, and patient education through community outreach programs."

- Michele Schiraldi, AA, RT(R)(M),
Coordinator of Mammography, LICH


The program proved successful in the following ways:

  • 99% of all clinic patients now have follow-up appointments scheduled before leaving the hospital, compared to 25% prior to the program
  • The breast cancer support group has experienced a 20% increase in attendance of clinic patients who are referred by the breast health navigator
  • The improved tracking components of the program have enabled LICH to know the exact number of women who delay screening because of missed scheduled mammograms, and the reasons for these missed appointments have been identified and are being addressed


1Long Island College Hospital. Breast Health Navigator Program. In: HANYS Breast Cancer Demonstration Project®. Best Practices Strategy Guide. Rensselaer, NY: Healthcare Association of New York State; 2002.