Health Navigation2022-07-21T08:15:51-07:00

HEALTH NAVIGATION

HOW WE ARE HELPING

FIREFIGHTERS

Our health navigators assist active and retired firefighters and their family members by providing physician referrals and resources for their specific type of cancer. We will intervene at any point in the cancer journey.

Our health navigators have assisted hundreds of firefighters and their family members since the program was established in 2012. We work with you or your designee. Our goal is to ensure they you are properly diagnosed and have information about state of the art treatment. We advocate for you through all phases of your cancer journey—diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and supportive care. We gather information about your cancer and concerns and provide guidance as you communicate with your providers. We will refer you to an expert physician who specializes in your type of cancer so you will have the information needed to make treatment decisions. To request health navigation, click the red button or call the number on this page.

Active and retired SFFD firefighters and their direct family members are eligible for health navigation and financial assistance. Direct family members include: Spouse/Domestic Partner (DP), Children, Siblings and Parents. Domestic Partners must be registered with the local jurisdiction of the State.

Financial Assistance: If not covered by your health insurance, we will reimburse you for the out-of-pocket costs for an expert physician consultation, tumor genetic profiling, and travel and/or accommodations associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. As of December 2021, we have added a Co-Pay benefit to the menu. These amounts are limited—we will discuss with you at the time of referral or when you call.

Reimbursement Schedule
Up to:
$1,000.00 for our referral for an Expert Physician Consultation
$3,000.00 for Genetic Tumor Profiling, aka Genomic Profiling
$2,500.00 for Travel and Accommodations to an expert out of the area

Co-Pay Benefit (Increased)
Up to $3,500.00: The co-pay benefit provides reimbursement for the out-of-pocket costs associated with physician-prescribed cancer treatment for active and retired SFFD firefighters, and their spouses/DP and children.

We expanded our health navigation and financial assistance program to serve firefighters with cancer outside of San Francisco to the greater Bay Area Departments in July 2020. In June 2022, we expanded eligibility to include their immediate family members.

All active and retired members of the fire service in District 4 & 5 of California Professional Firefighters (CPF), extending loosely from Sonoma to San Jose, and their immediate family members are eligible for health navigation and financial assistance. Immediate family members include: Spouse/Domestic Partner (DP) and Children (under 30 years old). Domestic Partners must be registered in the local jurisdiction or the State.

If not covered by your health insurance, we will reimburse you for your out-of-pocket costs for an expert physician consultation, tumor genetic profiling, or travel and/or accommodations associated with cancer diagnosis or treatment. These amounts are limited—we will discuss with you at the time of referral.

Reimbursement Schedule
Up to:
$1,000.00 for our referral for an Expert Physician Consultation
$3,000.00 for Genetic Tumor Profiling, aka Genomic Profiling
$2,500.00 for Travel and Accommodations to an expert out of the area

To assist our newly diagnosed patients who choose to explore alternative and non-medical therapies while going through standard treatment methods (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) we are adding an Integrative Oncology Program. Integrative oncology is the use of therapies that complement standard treatment methods with a whole person approach–body, mind, and spirit. Integrative therapies are centered around wellness education and support in areas of diet, exercise, and sleep to minimize side effects of treatment, as well as modalities that alleviate feelings of anxiety, fear and depression. A short list of these therapies includes mindfulness, biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery; special diets, vitamins, and herbs; acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, healing touch and more.

It is our pleasure to introduce our Integrative Oncology Consultant, Kathleen Cavanaugh, NP, MSN, an Advance Practice Nurse with over 20 years of medical experience caring for people with cancer. She is a Nurse Practitioner at the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center where she has worked in various settings including the Osher Center for Integrative Health. Kathleen is a member of the Society of Integrative Oncology as well as the American Holistic Nursing Association. To learn more about Kathleen’s experience, read her bio.

Many integrative therapies are helpful in easing side effects and supporting a patient’s well-being. However, these therapies can pose certain risks and may have side effects of their own. Kathleen will advise you and help sort through all the conflicting information that can be found in books and on the internet, assuring safe and evidence-informed use of herbs, vitamins and dietary supplements that will not interfere with cancer treatments.

Access to this service is offered to Health Navigation patients–see Eligibility information above–working with Jeff Malone, Judy Lynch or Nick Oxford. They will be able to directly introduce you to Kathleen. If not, to request Health Navigation, contact us at the number listed or click the red button on this page.

Kathleen also has a private practice and can be reached through her website www.kathleencavanaugh.com

We acknowledge the challenges our SFFD cancer patients are living with. The journey does not end at the completion of treatment. The survivorship experience means adjusting to new feelings, lifestyle changes and a different way of looking at the world. To support our SFFD firefighters and family members with cancer, we are now offering cancer survivorship services to optimize wellness after completing treatment.

With over 20 years of experience in oncology, Angela Laffan, NP, MSN, an Advanced Practice Oncology Nurse Practitioner and co-founder of UCSF’s Cancer Survivorship program, has joined our team as a consultant. She will work with you individually to educate you about improving your health and quality of life to reduce your risk of cancer recurrence. Her services are provided in a holistic approach focusing on nutrition, exercise, psychological, financial and sexual health, and more. To learn more about Angela’s experience and qualifications, read her bio.

Eligibility is currently reserved for any active or retired SFFD firefighter or their direct family member who have completed treatment. If you are currently a health navigation patient working with Jeff Malone, Judy Lynch or Nick Oxford, they will be able to directly refer you to Angela. If not, to request health navigation or survivorship services, contact us at the number listed or click the red button on this page.

We aim to expand cancer survivorship services to our CPF 4 and 5 affiliate members.

As difficult as it is to hear, our caseload includes active and retired firefighters with brain tumors in all phases of treatment and recovery. Navigating through brain tumor diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship is overwhelming for patients, loved ones and caregivers. Factor in the potential loss of a firefighter’s career and the future blurs. We acknowledge the challenges they are living with. Our goal is to assist with easing a piece of the burden.

To support our firefighter patients with brain tumors, we’re launching a new component of Health Navigation—Brain Tumor Peer Support. Dan Dunnigan, an experienced brain tumor peer support mentor, was diagnosed in 2013 with brain cancer as an active SFFD firefighter and survived. He knows firsthand what you are going through and can address your individual needs and concerns. Dan has proudly volunteered for the UCSF Brain Cancer Support Group and the IAFF/Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN) since his diagnosis. To learn more about Dan’s experience and qualifications, read his bio.

Eligibility is currently reserved for any active or retired SFFD firefighter or their direct family member in all phases of brain tumor (cancerous or not) treatment and recovery. If you are currently a health navigation patient working with Jeff Malone, Judy Lynch or Nick Oxford, they will be able to directly refer you to Dan. If not, to request health navigation or Brain Tumor Peer Support services, contact us on this page at the number listed or click the red button.

People often describe the time after cancer diagnosis as a rollercoaster or whirlwind. Learning you have a cancer is a shock and you may worry about what it means for your life now and in the future. You will need to make many decisions about treatment. Getting full, reliable information is critical. We have put together an important resource that you can view and download here. We always say: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

We will quickly link active firefighters to the SFFD’s specially trained Workers Compensation representatives who will advise you and assist in filing the required paperwork. This may allow you access to cancer services outside of your primary health insurance’s network.

Since Jan 2018, 39 brave SFFD firefighters* have been referred to SFFCPF for Health Navigation and diagnosed with cancer. To date, 34 have survived and, sadly, 5 have not.

SFFD Status: Active 14 l Retired 25

Gender: Women 4 l Men 35

Type of Cancer:

GastrointestinaI Tract (8): Liver 1 l Pancreas 2 l Colon 3 l Rectal 2

Genitourinary Tract (7): Kidney 2 l Bladder 1 l Prostate 3 l Testicle 1

Skin/Soft Tissue (7): Basal/Squamous Cell 5 l Melanoma 1 l Sarcoma 1

Blood/Lymph (6): Multiple Myeloma 3 l Lymphoma 2 l Leukemia 1

Oral (4) l Breast (3) l Brain (2) l Thyroid (1) l Lung (1)

*Limited to the number referred to/known by SFFCPF

NAVIGATORS

Jeff Malone, Retired SFFD
Cancer Survivor

Judith Lynch, RN, BS MAOM
Healthcare Advocate
Read Bio

Nick Oxford, MPH, Active
SFFD Rescue 2
Read Bio

Kathleen Cavanaugh, NP MSN
Integrative Oncology Consultant

 

Cancer Survivorship Consultant
Angela Laffan, NP, MSN
Read Bio

Brain Tumor Peer Support
Dan Dunnigan, Retired SFFD
Read Bio

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

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