University of Nebraska Medical Center

Nebraska Breast Health Navigation Program

Logos in English and Spanish for the Nebraska Breast Health Navigation Program

The Nebraska Breast Health Navigation Program is focused on eliminating barriers for breast cancer survivors, particularly survivors of color, people from minoritized communities and people from underserved communities.

Triple negative breast cancer is more common in younger Black women. These patients are 40% more likely to die of the disease than white women and less likely to receive chemotherapy, breast surgery and enroll in clinical trials.

The program uses trained volunteers called Lay Patient Navigators who provide peer-to-peer support to patients and families. Lay Patient Navigators help identify and resolve barriers to health care and enable patients to understand treatment recommendations that reflect best care practices.

These volunteers help to facilitate communication and trust between patients and providers.

Lay Navigators are not health care providers and cannot give medical advice. Any discussions between Lay Navigator and the patient remains private and confidential under HIPAA. No personal information is shared without expressed and affirmed consent from the patient.

Our Goals

  • Fight systemic health care barriers of care and disparities.
  • Build medical trust among members of minoritized communities and increase their enrollment in clinical trials.
  • Identify breast cancer barriers, myths and misinformation.
  • Give factual information.
  • Encourage yearly mammograms screening & follow up visits.

Our Team

Assistant Professor, UNMC Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology
Assistant Director for Clinical Integration, Community Outreach and Engagement Office, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Co-Founder, Director, Breath Health Navigation Program
Surgical Oncologist, Nebraska Medicine

Juan A. Santamaria, MD, FACS
Phyllis Mitchell-Butler

Administrative Navigator Coordinator


Phyllis Mitchell-Butler
Julia Weathers

Administrative Navigator Coordinator


Julia Weathers