NephCure’s Patient Navigation Services: Meet Montrez Lucas, LCSW February 10, 2023 by Des Lalonde We are very proud to introduce the NephCure Patient Navigation Program, a key component in helping the rare kidney disease (RKD) community get the answers and care they need, and Montrez Lucas, LCSW, is leading the way. Montrez Lucas, Associate Director of Patient Navigation Montrez, NephCure’s Associate Director of Patient Navigation, is a licensed social worker who helps patients, caregivers, and care partners navigate through healthcare services and systems. Before coming to NephCure, Montrez led a team of social workers at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. In his role, Montrez offers a resources, guidance, and hope to our community. By offering practical support as well as building helpful and lasting relationships, he ensures RKD patients and families have help navigating the uncertain rare kidney disease journey. Learn more about our Patient Navigation Program in this Q&A with Montrez. What is patient navigation? ML: Patient navigation is used to help patients and care partners navigate through healthcare services and identify problems they may face. These services offer helpful resources they may not have immediate access to, reduce health disparities in the community, and empower patients to receive the care they deserve, while receiving support from someone they can trust. How does this program serve caregivers and partners? ML: The program serves caregivers and partners by giving them access to resources to pass along to their loved ones and providing lasting support in a timely manner to assure they can continue to provide the best care to the patient. It is my duty to keep care partners up to date on how to best serve patients and guiding them to better patient care. The patient journey is important, but care partners serve an important role in every patient’s life. Why are patient relationships important to you? ML: I build relationships with patients and families to help guide them and solve the problems they are facing. Each patient is just as important as the next, which is why supporting them through the process of navigating healthcare systems and their general issues is vital. Building relationships with patients provides them the support they need to promote positive health behaviors and establishes trust. Patients and caregivers deserve to have a great relationship with someone they can rely on to give them the best resources, bring them closer to their goals, and resolve the issues they have. How can these navigation services help patients and families? ML: Navigating through the disease journey can be stressful, especially when conquering it alone. Patients should use these resources if they find themselves needing support. We will be able to provide patients with necessary resources for their journey, and connect them with the right tools, including informative events, webinars, support groups, and more. They’ll also receive assistance in healthcare access, school support services, medication assistance programs, and access to experts that can put them on the right track. The goal is to get to the patient before it’s too late. Learn more about NephCure’s Patient Navigation Program and connect with Montrez here.