Washington, D.C.: Journey Forward, a program that helps cancer patients transition from active treatment to survivorship care, was selected as a Gold Star winner for the Cancer Patient Education Network Award, which celebrates the achievement of individuals or organizations whose efforts have resulted in extraordinary contributions to patients, families or health care practitioners.
Journey Forward addresses the need for enhanced communication and care coordination through the use of treatment summaries and follow-up care plans that summarize cancer treatment and give clear steps for follow-up care and monitoring. The program was developed by a unique collaboration of organizations with a common goal of improving survivorship care, including the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, Genentech, and WellPoint, Inc.
“We are very pleased that Journey Forward received this special recognition,” said Thomas P. Sellers, President and CEO of NCCS. “The electronic tools provided through Journey Forward have already helped many health care providers work with their patients to coordinate their care. We are honored that the value of this program was recognized by the Cancer Patient Education Network.”
The Journey Forward program provides a computer-based tool that allows survivors and their cancer team to develop a customized Survivorship Care Plan. These plans improve coordination of care for cancer survivors throughout their lives, and they help survivors and their loved ones understand their cancer treatment and follow-up needs. The program helps doctors build custom Survivorship Care Plans based on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) treatment summary templates and surveillance guidelines Survivorship Care Plans also put survivors in a better position to advocate for themselves, monitor their health, and participate in decisions about their future care.
In May 2010, Journey Forward released a new version of the Survivorship Care Plan Builder software that enables anyone diagnosed with any type of cancer to have their medical history, cancer treatment summary and a post-treatment survivorship care plan captured in one place.
The Journey Forward program was created in response to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which concluded in a November 2005 report on adult cancer survivorship that there is currently no system of coordinated follow-up care for cancer survivors in the United States. The report says many cancer survivors are “lost in transition” from active treatment to survivorship, with few clues about how to manage their follow-up care and the physical and mental health problems that may result from their treatment.