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Maheswari Jaganathan

In 2020, Maheswari Jaganathan was recognised as one of Malaysia’s top 20 exceptional leaders committed to driving social change. She is part of a global network of over 1000 changemakers who champion social justice in their communities through moral leadership.

With 22 years of nursing experience and a position on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Malaysia, Maheswari specialises in patient navigation, needs assessment, lymphedema therapy, oncology care, palliative care, and end-of-life care nursing. After working at King Salman Armed Forces Hospital in Tabuk, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for nearly 5 years, she joined Cancer Research Malaysia (CRMY) in 2011. Here, she established a pioneering collaboration with Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang, and the Ministry of Health to create Malaysia’s first hospital-based Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Programme (PNP) in 2015, overcoming significant resource challenges.

In 2019, Maheswari and the CRMY team expanded PNP to three more state referral hospitals in Seremban, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu. They are set to establish additional hospital-based navigation centres in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Malaysia in 2023. Additionally, her team is piloting a program in primary care and working to create agents of change through community-based interventions in Serian District, Sarawak.

Through her collaborative efforts, patient navigation has become a key focus area in Malaysia’s National Strategic Cancer Control Plan 2021-2025. Maheswari and her team are on a vital mission to reduce late-stage presentations among Malaysian breast cancer patients.

Making an impact is doing meaningful work with people, encouraging like-minded individuals, working collaborators, stakeholders, funders, local leaders, and the community to be part of our work. I believe all of us have a purpose in life, and we are all one connection away from something incredible.

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