FALL 2018 25 Rememberlongingforairconditioningjust tobeabletorelaxduringthissummer’s oppressiveheatwave? Howaboutneedingairconditioningjusttobe abletobreathe? ThatwasthesituationfacingaConcord manwithCOPD,alungdiseasethathinders normalbreathing. EntertheNavigatingForwardFund, establishedseveralyearsagobyConcord HospitalTrustandConcordHospitalMedical Group’s(CHMG’s)nursenavigationteamto helppatientsinneedwithout-of-pocket expensesorspecialoruniqueneeds.Within hoursoflearningoftheCOPDpatient’s predicament,theteamturnedtotheFundto order,buyandinstallanairconditionerathis apartment,avoidingtripstotheEmergency Departmenttorelievehisbreathingdifficulty duringthesummerof2018. InitialNavigatingForwardfundingwas includedinaConcordHospitalTrust CommunityServicesFundgrantthataddeda socialworkertothenursenavigationteam. Generally,whennursenavigatorsseeaneed anddiscoverthereisnootherwayforittobe met,theyrequesthelponbehalfofapatient. “Itmightmeanprovidingapatientwith moneytobuygastogettotheirmedical appointmentsortothepharmacytopickup theirmedicineorhelpingpayforacopay,” saidConcordHospitalFamilyHealthCenter nursenavigatorDeeFitz. NavigatingForwardFund, wheresmallgestureshavealargeimpact Atfirst,theteambelievedtheFundwould helpasmallnumberofpatients. “Asoursocialworkerpositiongrew,andour teamgrew,thosebasicneedsbecamemore andmoreobvious,”saidDianeDavis,Directorof theMedicalHomeNurseNavigationProgram. “Itwasnotjustasmallpocketofpatientshere orthere.Itwasprettypersistent.” TheTrustprovided$20,000fortheFundthis year,butratherthanturntoitasthefirst step,thenursenavigationteamhasengaged communitypartnerstohelpwithitemssuch aswalkers,canes,hospitalbeds,liftchairsor volunteertransportation. Theeffortbuildspartnerships,likeonethat helpedtheCOPDpatientsufferingthrough theheatwave. ThepatientwasreceivingMealsonWheels throughtheHospital’sSmartHeartMeal programforcongestiveheartfailurepatients. TheMealsonWheelsrepresentativenoticed thepatientwasstrugglingtobreatheinhis stiflingapartmentandimmediatelycalled amanager.QuickcallstoConcordHospital Trust,thentoDaviswereallittooktoprovide theairconditionerthatavoidedalikely medicalemergency. “Itallhappenedwithinprobablyaspan offourhours,”saidDavis.Shecredited connections,communicationand collaborationatCHMG,theTrustand thecommunity. Andthepatientwasabletohaveabetter qualityoflifeathomeforthecostoftheair conditionerversusthecostofanEmergency Departmentvisit. Thesmallcontributionscanmakea bigdifference. “Acabridetoanappointmentsavespatients fromhavingtogotheHospitalinan ambulancebecauseiftheydidn’tgetcareat anofficevisit,theymaywaituntiltheyare reallysick,thentheyendupneedingtogoto theEmergencyDepartment,”Fitzsaid. Inadditiontofundingfrom ConcordHospitalTrust,the NavigatingForwardFundgota boostthisyearfromtheMast YardTrailRaceinHopkinton. Thefamilyofnursenavigator MauraCurtin,whoworksat FamilyTreeHealthCare,started theracetosupportadifferent charityeachyear.In2018,the eventraisedapproximately $3,000fortheFund.