The Women’s Cancer Fund (WCF) is a monthly emergency financial assistance program managed by the Cancer Recovery Foundation. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with a sample of Cancer Patient Navigators who help patients throughout their treatment plans. The survey was used to assess the perceived benefits and challenges associated with WCF financial assistance as well as to identify potential areas of improvement.
The purpose of this evaluation is to provide the Cancer Recovery Foundation with information about the perceived benefits of the WCF and potential improvements that could be made. Survey research (N=39) was conducted with a sample of Cancer Patient Navigators. Cancer Patient Navigators help patients throughout their treatment plan and facilitate the application process for financial assistance. They have a valuable perspective on the impact of the WCF program because they interact directly with patients who apply for WCF assistance.
Respondents reported that WCF financial assistance helps address material hardships (e.g., reduction in income) and psychological hardships (e.g., distress and worry), and also helps with behavioral hardships (e.g., delays with medical care or treatment) to a lesser degree. Respondents reported that WCF financial assistance does not adequately address all the patients’ financial needs, including transportation and food costs. In addition, respondents described the range of additional assistance programs that they use and implied how such programs could be made more complementary (e.g., streamlined application processes). Several areas of improvement were suggested by respondents. First, a subset of respondents believed the funding amount should be increased to provide more support for bills and expenses. A larger subset of respondents mentioned that expanding what the funding can be used for could be beneficial in addressing patients’ additional financial needs. Specific areas of need included transportation and food or groceries.