About HIAYA

The Huntsman-Intermountain Adolescent and Young Adult (HIAYA) Cancer Care Program serves adolescents and young adults (AYAs) between 15 and 39 years old who have been diagnosed with cancer.

A cancer diagnosis presents different challenges for AYAs. Cancer can disrupt big milestones that commonly happen during this age range like completing school, choosing a career path, building personal relationships, and working toward emotional, social, and financial independence.

HIAYA seeks to address the unique needs of AYAs in Utah and the surrounding states. We currently offer:

We collaborate with many healthcare organizations to ensure AYAs receive the immediate and long-term support services necessary to meet their unique needs, including Intermountain Healthcare, Primary Children’s Hospital, and community oncologists.

Young Adult Connections

Young Adult Connections is a social group for people with cancer ages 18-39 and their partner or a friend. Events on the third Thursday each month offer the chance to connect, enjoy social activities, and hear educational presentations about adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer topics. Find event details on the HIAYA Cancer Group Facebook page.

Contact and RSVP: Karlie Allen, AYA Patient Navigator, 801-646-4005

Meet Our Navigator

Karlie Allen, MS, CCLS

I am the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program coordinator and patient navigator for Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). I am honored to work with and serve the AYA population.

I received my bachelor degree in family life with an emphasis in human development from Brigham Young University, and I earned my master’s degree in child life from the University of La Verne. I am also child life certified from the Association of Child Life Professionals. I was a child life specialist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in California, for 7 years, where working with oncology patients became my passion.

During that time, I was an active member of the AYA workgroup, assisting with events, program development, retreats, and trainings. I moved into the role of AYA program coordinator at CHOC for a time before moving to Utah and into this role at HCI. I have a heart and passion for advocating, empowering, and supporting AYA oncology patients, their caregivers, and families during all phases of their care.

Please feel free to reach out to our navigator with any questions or concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AYA?

AYA stands for Adolescent and Young Adult. This is a group of people diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15 and 39.

Why is cancer different for AYAs?

AYAs have no medical home – they feel too old for pediatric cancer care, but too young for adult cancer care (in which most patients are decades older).

AYA patients have unique emotional, physical, and practical needs that aren’t easily met through typical cancer care for children or older adults. For AYAs, cancer can interrupt school, work, marriage, fertility, parenthood, and more. Also, more young adults in their 20s are uninsured than older adults.

What is a Patient Navigator?

A Patient Navigator has special training to help AYAs with cancer manage daily life needs. Navigators answer questions and connect AYAs to hospital and community resources. In other words, the navigator helps “navigate” the healthcare system.

Who is the HIAYA Cancer Care program for?

The HIAYA Cancer Care Program is for people between the ages of 15 and 39 diagnosed with cancer as well as their support system, including caregivers.

How much money will navigation cost me?

Seeing the HIAYA Patient Navigator is free and open to the community. There is no charge.

My cancer is in remission. Can I still see the Patient Navigator?

Yes! The Patient Navigator is for people across the cancer continuum, from first diagnosis through survivorship.

Do I have to be treated at Intermountain Healthcare or Huntsman Cancer Institute?

No, this service is available to patients of any healthcare institution. While we primarily serve patients in Utah, patients can also come from nearby states.

Contact Us

Our Patient Navigators can be reached via email: aya@hci.utah.edu 

Request a Navigator



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