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ACS launches new global patient navigation initiative

BEACON Initiative will strengthen health systems and organizations in LMICs to improve outcomes.

On Feb. 10, the American Cancer Society (ACS) launched a pilot of a new global patient navigation initiative called the Building Expertise, Advocacy, and Capacity for Oncology Navigation (BEACON) Initiative. 

The initiative is led by our Global Capacity Development and Patient Support team and funded by the Merck Foundation (called the MSD Foundation outside of the United States.) It aims to strengthen health care facilities, health care systems, and cancer organizations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to improve health outcomes and the patient experience during the cancer journey. 

The launch event featured Dr. Arif Kamal, our new chief patient officer, as well as Dr. Harold P. Freeman, the founding father of patient navigation and a former ACS president. The event recording is now available.

The BEACON Initiative is made up of two key components:

  • The global patient navigation toolkit is filled with practical resources to help users lead key processes and complete specific activities to design, launch, implement, sustain, and grow patient navigation programs uniquely suited to their local context, the needs of their patients, and their resource base. Click here to for a six-minute tour of the toolkit.
  • The peer learning collaborative invites users to join an online platform for sharing experiences and take part in virtual events that will introduce them to others working in patient navigation who are facing and addressing similar challenges.

Ten organizations in eight countries will pilot the Global Patient Navigation Toolkit during the next 15 months, including: 

  • Haematology Center after Professor R. Yeolyan (Armenia)
  • City Cancer Challenge (C/CAN)—Porto Alegre (Brazil)
  • Instituto Oncoguia (Brazil)
  • Baheya Foundation for Early Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer (Egypt)
  • Hospital General San Juan de Dios (Guatemala)
  • Indonesian Cancer Information and Support Center (Indonesia)
  • National Cancer Center Dharmais Cancer Hospital (Indonesia)
  • National Cancer Society of Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (Nigeria)
  • Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)

For more information about the BEACON Initiative, visit or email

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