ons-logo-featured70x70The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has joined the Journey Forward collaborative to promote cancer survivorship through the use of Survivorship Care Plans.

Journey Forward, a collaboration consisting of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, WellPoint, and Genentech, welcomes the support and participation of ONS in this initiative.  “Nurses are key providers of education for patients through their diagnosis and treatment, so this partnership is a natural fit as we work together to communicate about the importance of survivorship care plans,” said ONS Director of Education Michele Galioto, RN, MSN. She added that incorporating ONS’s evidence-based guidelines, symptom management resources, and the growing collection of quality indicators into survivorship plans will ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes. “This partnership allows us to bring valuable tools to nurses and to reach beyond our membership as we work to improve care for all patients.”

“ONS is a welcome addition to the team,” said Patricia Ganz, MD, Director of the Survivorship Center at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Oncology nurses are at the forefront of preparation of Survivorship Care Plans.”

Journey Forward provides a free, award-winning software tool designed to help survivors and their cancer team develop a customized Survivorship Care Plan based on ASCO’s treatment summary templates and surveillance guidelines. 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. 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.

“The ONS team brings a membership of more than 35,000 oncology nurses in 61 countries with 230 chapters in the United States. We expect that the membership of ONS will help disseminate Journey Forward in their oncology settings,” said Thomas Sellers, MPA, Chief Executive Officer (and 12-year cancer survivor) of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

There is evidence that oncology nurses are key to adoption of survivorship care planning at the clinical level, since they are the ones administering care to the patients. “Nurses play a vital role in our health care system, whether in an office setting, hospital, health plan or in the classroom. The addition of ONS and its dedicated oncology nurses further strengthens the Journey Forward collaboration of organizations and supports health care professionals throughout the industry–all who are so vital to the care of patients, especially to those who are undergoing treatment for cancer,” said Dr. Lisa Latts, WellPoint’s vice president of Public Health Policy. Added Kent E. Lieginger, PharmD, Senior Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations at Genentech, “We know that oncology nurses are interested in resources that can help impact outcomes for their patients. We anticipate that Journey Forward will have an accelerated adoption due to their involvement.”

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