First Fed Foundation helps fund Patient Navigator Program

PORT ANGELES — The Olympic Medical Center Foundation has received a $35,000 grant from the First Fed Foundation, increasing OMC Cancer Center Patient Navigator funding that provides money for basic living expenses for low-income cancer patients.

Bruce Skinner, OMC Foundation’s executive director, made the announcement at the hospital commissioners meeting on June 21.

“It is crucial that we expand the Patient Navigator Program,” Skinner said, noting that the program helps to eliminate financial barriers and prevents foreclosures for people struggling with cancer treatment.

“The Patient Navigation system has shown efficacy as a strategy to reduce cancer mortality; in short, it saves lives,” he said.

Norm Tonina, First Fed Foundation board president, said her board is grateful for the services that Olympic Medical Center provides and is impressed with the impact that prior grants have had on the community.

“The Foundation is excited to make this grant that will be dedicated to providing low-income patients undergoing cancer treatment with stipends for rent, utilities, medication, transportation and other necessities that would otherwise be out of reach, so they can focus on their care and recovery,” Tonina said.

Additional funds means the Patient Navigator program will be able to continue to fund low-income populations to an increased number of patients, caused by people living longer and an aging baby boomer population, Skinner said.

“And due to the increased cost of housing,” he said, “it is imperative that fund be grown in order to provide additional resources.”

Those interested in more information or in making a donation to further enhance the Patient Navigator Fund can call the OMC Foundation office at 360-417-7144, or by emailing to Or, they can mail donations to: OMC Foundation, 1015 Georgiana St., Port Angeles, Wa 98362.

“We hope that many local people will become a part of our fundraising efforts,” Skinner said.

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