Cutting the Ribbon for the New William Raveis-American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program

First row, from the left, Sarah Shafir, state vice president of health initiatives for the American Cancer Society; Carolyn Deal, recently retired president and COO of William Raveis Real Estate; and William Raveis, chairman and CEO. Back row: James Thibeault, signature program director, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for health affairs and dean, UConn School of Medicine.

On Monday, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the William Raveis-American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. The patient navigator program provides free and confidential guidance and support to cancer patients. Attending the dedication reminded me that receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their families and their caregivers and that no one should have to go through it alone. Navigators provide support every step of the way, from explaining what to expect with therapy, to making sure patients have transportation to and from appointments.

The program was made possible by a groundbreaking pledge of $750,000 from the William Raveis Charitable Fund. The commitment by top leaders at William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance has been outstanding. They have engaged all of their employees to help raise funds for this cause. The gift enabled the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center to partner with the American Cancer Society to launch the patient navigator program and to provide attractive, physical space for patients and families to meet with the navigator program staff.