Lance Armstrong’s newest innovation is what’s being called a “navigation center”. It’s designed to help patients negotiate a local health care system.
A recent New York Times story reveals that Lance was inspired by Dr. Harold P. Freeman who founded the first such center, the Patient Navigator Institute in Harlem New York City in 1990. The underlying concept is to eliminate barriers to timely cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and supportive care.
Mr. Freeman is former chairman of President Obama’s Cancer Panel. The panel is responsible for assessing the National Cancer Program. Lance also served two three-year terms on the panel. Says Mr. Freeman:
“He came to see me at our center, which takes care of poor black and Hispanic people, many of whom have no health insurance,” Dr. Freeman said. “He showed a genuine interest in what I was trying to do and came back four different times. I see him as a compassionate person who cares about people who don’t have resources.”
Once again Harlem is at the center of something both beautiful and inspirational.