Community-campus partnership in action: Lessons learned from the dupage county patient navigation collaborative

Athena T. Samaras, Kara Murphy, Narissa J. Nonzee, Richard Endress, Shaneah Taylor, Nadia Hajjar, Rosario Bularzik, Carmi Frankovich, Xinqi Dong, Melissa A. Simon

Publication Date: 01/01/2014

Background: Using community-based participatory research (CBPR), the DuPage County Patient Navigation Collaborative (DPNC) developed an academic campus-community research partnership aimed at increasing access to care for underserved breast and cervical cancer patients within DuPage County, a collar county of Chicago. Given rapidly shifting demographics, targeting CBPR initiatives among underserved suburban communities is essential. Objectives: To discuss the facilitating factors and lessons learned in forging the DPNC. Methods: A patient navigation collaborative was formed to guide medically underserved women through diagnostic resolution and if necessary, treatment, after an abnormal breast or cervical cancer screening. Lessons Learned: Facilitating factors included (1) fostering and maintaining collaborations within a suburban context, (2) a systems-based participatory research approach, (3) a truly equitable community-academic partnership, (4) funding adaptability, (5) culturally relevant navigation, and (6) emphasis on co-learning and capacity building. Conclusions: By highlighting the strategies that contributed to DPNC success, we envision the DPNC to serve as a feasible model for future health interventions.