A diagnosis of cancer and its arduous treatments can overwhelm any patient, let alone one who cannot speak English or lacks financial and social resources.
The colleagues of Yovanny Fana, oncology patient navigator at Mass General-North Shore Cancer Center, attest to her tireless and resourceful interventions on behalf of such patients.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Yovanny is the advocate, interpreter and companion to many patients as they undergo treatment, ensuring that they can fully benefit from their care at the Cancer Center and at home.
“Yovanny empowers patients in need to negotiate our system and bridge cultural divides,” says Lauren Dias, MD. “She is incredibly generous with her time and frequently visits patients after hours. When Yovanny is involved, I know the patients will have the extra support they need to receive the treatment they deserve.”
Patricia Hanson, LICSW, oncology social worker, adds, “Yovanny puts patients at ease and helps them keep appointments, obtain and use their medications, and gain the basic necessities — from groceries to safe housing.”
“Yovanny is devoted to her patients,” says Oncology Services director Joel Schwartz, MD. “She extends herself way beyond her job description, from assisting patients with visas and citizenship applications to helping families struggling with end-of-life decisions.”