About Us
About Us

The Patient Navigator Training Collaborative provides national leadership for the development, education, standardization and sustainability of the growing patient navigation workforce.

Patient navigators across various healthcare settings must possess specific knowledge and skills.  Imparting the knowledge and building skills are the foci of the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative.  The program offers a full range of patient navigation curricula. We offer different levels of courses for new and experienced patient navigators and supervisors. Course formats include face-to-face, online, eLearning courses, and special-topic webinars. See a list of Courses.  See a current Course Schedule.

The dedicated team includes content and training experts who are patient navigators and navigator supervisors, educators, nurses, medical experts, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists and evaluators. We engage in continuous quality improvement to assure that the courses are of high quality and relevant to the work of patient navigators.

Our program team can also assist your organization. We offer consultation to transform healthcare systems through innovative, evidence-based approaches to deploying patient navigators and improving patient outcomes, satisfaction, and reducing costs.

Program Partners

Program Partners

Center for Public Health Practice, University of Colorado School of Public Health

The Center’s mission is to create and foster practitioner excellence to improve public health practice at the systems, community and organizational levels. The Center strives to accomplish this through providing workforce development, community project development and practice-based learning and is a collaborator for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative.

Denver Prevention Training Center

DPTC provides state-of-the-art training in clinical and behavioral interventions related to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. The Prevention center is a member of the National Network of STD/HIV Prevention Training Centers and funded in part from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Denver Health and Hospital Authority

Denver Health is Colorado’s “safety net” healthcare system. Denver Health works extensively with medically underserved patients to eliminate health disparities. The organization provides preventive, primary, and specialty care to 25% of Denver residents, serving more than 160,000 patients each year. In the last 10 years, Denver Health provided more than $2.1 billion in care for the uninsured.

Red Rocks Community College

Red Rocks Community College has assisted students in meeting ambitious career and educational goals in an exciting, collaborative environment with multiple pathways to success. They deliver career-enhancing courses, certificate programs and degrees that represent a solid investment in each student’s goals and career success. 




Funding Partner


Cancer Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Program

This program is funded by a grant from the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the years 2015-2018.

Program Team

Program Team

Patricia Valverde, PhD, MPH


    Patricia Valverde is the program’s Co-Director. She is an Instructor in the Community and Behavioral Health Department of the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Valverde has extensive experience in research and program management in the areas of community outreach and patient navigation. She is a leader in local, national, and international patient navigation efforts. Locally in Denver, she has managed the Denver Patient Navigator Research Program (PNRP) and been an instructor and curriculum developer for the Community College of Denver Community Health Worker Certificate program. As a national leader in patient navigation, Dr. Valverde has been an instructor and curriculum developer for the National ACS/PNRP training program and provided training and consultation to patient navigator programs across the country. Internationally, Dr. Valverde has been invited to provide patient navigator training in Mexico City, Mexico and Sao Paolo, Brazil.


    Jodi Drisko, MSPH

    Program Evaluator

      Jodi Drisko, President of Parametrix Group, LLC is a consultant for the Program. She has extensive experience in curriculum design, instruction and evaluation for community health workers and patient navigators. Working with Dr. Whitley, Jodi co-developed the Community College of Denver Community Health Worker Training program and led the evaluation of the Denver Health Community Voices Outreach program.


      Andrea Dwyer, BS

      Outreach Coordinator/ Trainer

        Andrea (Andi) Dwyer is a trainer for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative and a student in Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. Ms. Dwyer has extensive knowledge and background in colorectal cancer prevention and health promotion. She was instrumental in developing and implementing patient navigation efforts of the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program (CCSP), one of the largest screening and early detection navigation programs in the country. Ms. Dwyer also serves as the Project Director for the Colorado Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, the Chair of the Colorado Colorectal Task Force, Member of the National Colorectal Round Table and Board President of a local non-profit organization, Sense of Security.


        Yvonne Kellar-Guenther, PhD

        Trainer/Curriculum Developer

          Dr. Yvonne Kellar-Guenther is an Associate Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Denver and the Program Evaluator for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative. Her research and focus areas include medical home communities, health literacy, patient navigation, interpersonal communication and relationship development. Dr. Kellar-Guenther also serves as a literacy and communication consultant for various groups and designs curriculum for researchers and patient navigators.

          Terry Stewart

          Director of the Denver Prevention Training Center

             Terry Stewart is the Director of the Denver Prevention Training Center (PTC), a program of Denver Public Health, a department of Denver Health and Hospital Authority.  Along with being a partner in the Patient Navigation Training Collaborative, the Denver PTC provides training throughout a multi-state region on clinical management of STDs and national capacity building assistance to healthcare organizations to integrate and enhance their high impact HIV prevention activities.  Mr. Stewart has been in STD/HIV prevention for 27 years.  Previously, he served as Director of Education at the Colorado AIDS Project for nine years, and worked with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s Project Safe, a research and education program targeting injection drug users in Denver.  Mr. Stewart’s expertise includes program management, staff and leadership development, training and facilitation, as well as the design, implementation and evaluation of behavioral interventions. 


            Katie Langland, MA

            Training Consultant

              Katie Langland has developed and delivered numerous health education programs, professional trainings, counseling sessions, and community-based programs focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, Ms. Langland served as a Community Development and Health Educator in four rural indigenous Guatemalan communities. For several years she has dedicated her time as a literacy volunteer at bilingual schools and community based organizations. She is a certified Elementary Education teacher and a certified Langevin Instructional Designer and Developer, Master Trainer, and a Performance Consultant. She has obtained degrees in Spanish, International Studies, Elementary Education, and an Anthropology Masters with a focus on Political Ecology and Sustainability.

              T. Scott Pegues

              Training Coordinator

                T. Scott Pegues is a Training Coordinator for the Denver PTC Capacity Building Assistance Program. He is responsible for coordinating curriculum and faculty development, the delivery of courses, consultations, assessments, and staff supervision. Mr. Pegues has a special interest in the social and cultural impact of HIV disease, and its influence on the identities of young men. He is recognized as a leader in the national gay men’s health movement, and dedicates himself to the development of a new generation of community leaders. Mr. Pegues comes to the Denver PTC with nearly two decades of interdisciplinary experience in HIV prevention, community mobilization, strategic planning, adult education, and group facilitation. He is a Langevin Certified Master Trainer, Performance Consultant, and Instructional Designer/Developer.

                Michael McLeod, JD, MPH

                Capacity Building Assistance Specialist

                  Michael McLeod is a Capacity Building Assistance Specialist at the Denver Prevention Training Center. He advances patient navigation and HIV prevention and care by writing curriculum, conducting training, coaching trainers, and providing technical assistance to public health practitioners, including licensed healthcare professionals. Prior to joining the Denver Prevention Training Center, he directed a holistic health program for same-gender loving African American men at It Takes A Village, Inc. He has promoted health through volunteer work in the Colorado Black Health Collaborative and Coloradans Working Together: Preventing HIV/AIDS. He earned his MPH degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a focus on program development and public health leadership. He earned his law degree at the University of Michigan, and his Bachelor’s degree in Government at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

                  Dustin Wagner

                  Training Specialist

                    Dustin Wagner is a Training Specialist for the Denver PTC Behavioral Intervention Training Program. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Iowa. Dustin comes to Denver PTC after working in both the local government and non-profit worlds implementing HIV Counseling and Testing and Community, Group, and Individual level interventions with a focus on young MSM, African American MSM, people living with HIV/AIDS, and IDU populations since 2004. He has created and delivered workshops that address sexual health for LGBT youth. In his current role Dustin delivers numerous HIV prevention behavioral intervention trainings, which include, but are not limited to Healthy Relationships, Couples HIV Testing and Counseling, Community PROMISE, and ARTAS.

                    Elizabeth Whitley, PhD, RN

                    Founding Director

                      Elizabeth Whitley, PhD RN is Founding Director for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative. She provided expertise and guidance for the program. As a curriculum designer, instructor and evaluator, she has assumed a national role in patient navigator training for the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Whitley is currently the Division Director for Prevention Services at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. She was previously the Director of Community Health Grants at Denver Health and was Co-Principal Investigator for the National Cancer Institute-funded Patient Navigation Research Program (PNRP). Dr. Whitley has extensive experience in research and collaborative community-based programs in the areas of community outreach, case management and patient navigation. The outreach models she has created are used throughout Colorado and the nation.

                      Betsy Risendal, PhD

                      Founding Director

                        Dr. Risendal currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH), and a Full Member of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Her research interests include the multi-disciplinary investigation of cancer outcomes and cancer prevention and control. This includes the study of psychosocial, behavioral, cultural, biological, and treatment-related factors and their impact on cancer outcomes, with a particular emphasis of their influence on health disparities in cancer. She is currently Principal Investigator on research grants funded by the Centers for Disease Control, American Cancer Society, and LIVESTRONG, in addition to the work with the Patient Navigator Training Program.

                        The Patient Navigator Training Collaborative is fortunate to have a dedicated group of trainers from various organizations and areas around the state. 


                        Terra Anderson, RN (semi retired), Durango

                        Denise Barnes, LPC, Professional Motivational Interviewing Trainer, Boulder

                        Lucille Campbell (Johnson), Consultant and Professional Trainer, Denver

                        Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora

                        Kathie Garrett, University of Colorado, Aurora

                        John Fouania, Denver Health, Denver

                        Ben Harris, Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning, Denver

                        David Kaye, Self- Employed Professional Trainer, Lakewood

                        Claire McArdle, Associates in Family Medicine, Loveland

                        Veronica (Roni) Morales, Mountain Family Health Centers, Glenwood Springs

                        Wendy Smittick, Center for African American Health, Denver

                        Muhanned (Ned) Soud, Denver Health, Denver

                        Amy Spentnagel, Denver Public Health. Denver

                        Ada Torres, Spanish Language Consultant, Denver

                        Bev Wasserman, RN, BSN, Clinical Trainer/Consultant for Denver Health, Fort Collins

                        Maria Zubia, Spanish Language Consultant, Denver