PEN ECHO is a virtual telementoring program facilitated by The University of Texas MD Anderson and AHEC (Area Health Education Center) in the Rio Grande Area of Texas. The aim of this program is to give patient navigators across Texas the opportunity to come together virtually to increase their navigation knowledge and skills. The program focuses on challenges to navigating patients both in the clinic systems as well as in the community setting. The PEN ECHO is focused on navigators who are providing education (outreach and/or inreach), as well as navigation and follow-up for patients in need of breast, cervical, and colorectal screening exams. The navigators are given the opportunity to share their experiences as well as the challenges encountered during the process of navigating patients.
Many of the navigators that join our sessions reside and serve in areas where screening and navigation services are limited. While many programs focus on increasing cancer screening numbers, navigators are also tasked with supporting the follow-up of patients with abnormal screening test results. The PEN ECHO sessions ensure navigators are equipped and prepared to navigate challenging cases.
This program is funded through a cervical cancer prevention grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Since 2014, navigators have been trained and supported to facilitate community outreach education and navigation for cervical cancer screening in medically underserved areas (MUAs) of Texas. Learning sessions were hosted monthly for the navigation team and due to an interest in mentoring and case-based learning, the team launched a Project ECHO for navigation, the PEN ECHO in February 2023. The PEN ECHO is an extension of this previously established educational program and has now expanded to include breast and colorectal cancer screening. The navigators face many barriers when serving communities and patients in MUAs, particularly when trying to navigate a patient with abnormal screening results to care. The PEN ECHO allows navigators across Texas to share experiences, including cases of patients who encountered barriers when seeking care, and patient in-reach and outreach successes and difficulties.
- If you are interested in registering for this series and sharing information about this ECHO with others please find the flyer attached.
- If you are interested in ordering cancer prevention educational print material from MD Anderson, please fill out this request form.
- Other printed materials/resources can be found at American Cancer Society, Center for Disease and Prevention Control, National Cancer Institute and Mayo Clinic.
Each PEN ECHO session has a case presentation component where you can ask a team of expert navigators and other participants to help with any navigation questions. Discussion and expertise are provided from other navigators and participants regarding successful direction of patients. Below is additional information about case presentations and how to submit a case.
Case Presentation Topics:
- Difficult questions about providing patient education for cervical, colorectal and breast cancer screening
- Quality improvement and data entry/management
- How to navigate a patient diagnosed with cancer without insurance to care
- Patient case with unsolved barriers
- Assistance with strategies to improve navigation
Instructions to submit a case:
- Download the following template to present a case: PEN ECHO case template
- Fill out and e-mail PowerPoint template to Monica Pippin at email@example.com
- If you are interested in attending or presenting a case, please e-mail Monica Pippin (Patient Navigator) at firstname.lastname@example.org with completed templaet included.
PEN ECHO Contacts
Monica Pippin - Program Manager
Jessica Milan - Program Manager
Melissa Lopez Varon, Ph.D., M.S. - Program Director