Archive for Patient Navigator News

Need help applying for a grant? Check out our Evaluation course

Need help preparing for a grant application/Request for Proposal (RFP)? This upcoming evaluation workshop is for you! 

Using Evaluation for Program Improvement for Patient Navigation
When: 9 am-5 pm, Aug. 2-3, 2017
Where: Arvada, CO
Register Here

Are your patient navigators making a difference in your practice? Is your organization truly reaching its goals? One way to determine the success of your organization or program is to use evaluation. But where do you begin?

This two-day Evaluation course is designed to meet the needs of Patient Navigator supervisors who want to increase basic evaluation skills and develop an evaluation plan for your needs. Participants will learn to use evaluation to improve prevention interventions; define common evaluation terms; use logic models to describe interventions; identify steps to prepare for evaluation, and have the opportunity to work on a personal evaluation plan for the upcoming grant year with a Ph.D-level evaluator.

This Level 3 course is designed for patient navigator supervisors, managers, and directors.

This course is offered by the Denver Prevention Training Center.

Posted in: Blog, Denver Metro, Patient Navigator News, PNTC Workshop Announcement, Upcoming Events

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Spring 2017 Course preview

logo_vecSpring 2017 workshop schedule coming soon!

We are working hard on our workshop calendar for 2017! Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Level 1: Patient Navigator Fundamentals
January: Denver
March: Fort Collins
May: Glenwood Springs

We are planning to offer advanced courses in the central and north Denver metro areas, as well as the western slope.

Do you live in the Durango area? Take this brief survey and let us know what courses we should bring to you!

Bridging Theory and Practice will be held in March in Arvada.

ECHO Learning Sessions will be held in Care Coordination and Motivational Interviewing. There will also be opportunities for PNs to receive one-on-one Motivational Interviewing coaching. More details to come!

Posted in: Blog, Patient Navigator News, Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, PNTC Workshop Announcement

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What’s next for healthcare after the election?

healthcare-questionsThere is a lot of uncertainty on the future of healthcare since the presidential election. Patients and healthcare providers alike are grappling with this uncertainty, as there is a lot we simply don’t know. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to repeal Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but what does this mean for the health insurance landscape? Below, are some non-partisan articles examining possible scenarios and what could come next.

Many experts agree that overhauling the ACA would take time. It is unlikely that anything will change in 2017, as “It’s a complex process to alter a law as complicated as the ACA,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University, in a Kaiser Health News article.

According to Elizabeth Hagen, senior policy analyst for Families USA, Republican proposals to repeal the ACA will likely include a transition period so people do not experience a sudden disruption in coverage. Read more of her blog here.

About 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage since the ACA was implemented.

According to Connect for Health Colorado’s CEO Kevin Patterson, until the new administration and Congress develop a new direction, the health insurance marketplace will continue with normal operations.

“We urge our customers to continue to shop for the best coverage for themselves and their families in 2017 and complete their enrollment by Dec. 15, 2016, to avoid a gap in coverage,” Patterson said in an email statement to stakeholders. About 168,000 Colorado residents have healthcare coverage through Connect for Health Colorado.

More articles:

Compiled by Erin Martinez, PNTC Communications Manager

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Annual conference highlights importance of health literacy in improving patient care


By Alejandra Armenta, PNTC Intern

The second annual Colorado Health Literacy Coalition Conference was held at the University of Colorado Hospital Conference Center on Oct. 21, 2016. This event was aimed primarily at clinicians, health educators, patient navigators, hospitals representatives and the general public interested in health literacy.

The Colorado Health Literacy Coalition Conference educated the audience with innovative techniques that will help them create more health literate health care organizations. According to the Coalition, health literacy allows patients and families to receive and understand health information so they can be advocates for their own care. image007

During the course of the conference, guests were encouraged to attend speaker-led interactive workshops. Speakers engaged attendees in a positive dialogue in order for people to improve their skills and knowledge about health literacy.

According to conference guest speaker Mary Ann Abrams, many health problems are linked to low health literary. These include:

  • Poor ability to interpret labels and health messages
  • Greater use of emergency care
  • Higher health care cost
  • Poor ability to demonstrate taking medicines appropriately

If patient navigators and other healthcare professionals improve their health literacy skills, they will have better communication with their patients and serve their needs. Improved health literacy is the key to improving care quality, reducing medical errors, facilitating shared decision-making and improving health outcomes.

image001Why is it important to use Health Literacy at your work? 

“We are the first contact sometimes after getting discharged, or in my case with the asthma visits, they tend to call me first, because they feel more comfortable. And of course with health literacy, I can explain things better. They won’t be scared or stressed because they feel more confident asking questions.”

Raquel Figueroa, Patient Navigator at Denver Health, who works with asthma patients


Alejandra Armenta is a student at CU-Denver, with a double major of Ethnic Studies and Public Health.

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PN community gathers to share news, shape vision for workforce

20160708_140227More than 110 people from around the state participated in the Patient Navigator, Community Health Worker and Promotor de Salud Alliance Summer Meeting on July 8. The conference room at the COPIC insurance offices in Lowry was packed, and dozens more people joined via web connection to hear all the latest updates on PN/CHW/PdS news in Colorado.

The meeting was held to re-launch the Alliance (formerly called the Collaborative, but a separate organization than the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative) and convene the CHW, PN and PdS community to share opportunities to advance and sustain initiatives in Colorado.

Updates included:

Patient Navigator Training Collaborative: The PNTC has been offering trainings throughout the state since 2006. The training program has grown each year and trains hundreds of people per year in both basic skills and advanced curriculum.

“We do focus on the role of navigation – even if it’s not done by a patient navigator. So we try to make sure our content is relevant whether you’re called a community health worker, care coordinator, case manager… which is kind of a shift than previously,” said Patricia Valverde, PNTC director.

Otero Junior College: Located in La Junta, CO, Otero offers a 1-year Community Health Worker Certificate. This counts toward a Health Navigator Associate’s degree, and the college is working with four-year partners to articulate this into an bachelors’ degree.

“We have been very successful in reaching those underserved populations as our students. We are very excited about the number of first generation student who are coming to our classes,” said Kaysie Schmidt, OJC Health Navigation faculty member. The program plans to launch a distance learning option in the fall to expand reach outside the region.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Workforce Initiative: This effort is to establish a competency-based credentialing program and registry for the state’s rapidly growing patient navigator workforce.

There are countless titles given to people performing navigation activities, but “They are really known for their ability to facilitate access to care, improvements in the quality of care and cultural competence in that care,” said Pat Uris, senior consultant for CDPHE’s Prevention Services Division.

The initiative aims to define the competencies and standardize the training for these unlicensed personnel to add a layer of protection for patients and employers, Uris said. Both the credentialed training program and the patient navigator registry will be voluntary. Initiative members envision that a navigator will learn a standard set of basic skills and pass a competency test, which will earn them a place on the registry.

Health Care Policy and Finance: Rocky Mountain Health Plans shared activities from the Regional Care Collaborative efforts, such as project on the Western Slope using navigators to work with clients one-on-one with the goal of reducing ER utilization rates.

In addition, the Colorado Regional Health Connectors program gave an update on their efforts. Regional Health Connectors  or RHCs are dedicated to improving the coordination of local services to advance health. The work of each RHC will be driven by the unique needs of their region. The common goal of the RHC program is to identify and address gaps in a comprehensive environment of care by enabling primary care practices to address all the determinants of health and by removing common obstacles between doctor’s recommendations and a patient’s daily life.

After the updates from the various organizations involved in PN work, participants met in small groups and gave feedback on the proposed Alliance Mission and Charter document.

The Alliance was formed in 2012 as a grassroots organization in an effort to align all of the various patient navigator/community health worker/promotoras groups in Colorado and identify and develop a sustainable model for this important work. The statewide coalition is composed of local and state agencies, advocacy groups, philanthropic organizations and public and private health plan representatives.

Up Next

  • If you participated in the meeting and would like to share your thoughts, click here for a post-meeting survey.
  • The next all-member CHW PN and PdS Alliance meeting date will be announced by early August. The group plans to meet quarterly.
  • If you are interested in joining in the CHW Competencies Workgroup, this meeting will be held on August 8, 2016, from 1-2:30 pm via Zoom Connection (this webconnection modality has option for phone and computer). Email Andi Dwyer if you would like to join at

Posted in: Blog, Patient Navigator News, Patient Navigator Training Collaborative

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Native Patient Navigation course to be offered in August

Native PicNative American Cancer Research (NACR) proudly announces a training course on Native Patient Navigation that includes American Indian Cultural Competency training, along with other sessions that address competency standards for patient  navigators.

Date: Aug. 15-17, 2016
Location: 3605 S. Hampden Ave. (Wadsworth & Hampden), Denver, CO
Fee: $550

The attached overview of the 2.5-day training outlines the course content as well as the location, schedule, and expectations for participants. To register, complete the form and email to

Native American Cancer Research is a leader  in the field of American Indian cultural patient navigation, focusing on cancer patient navigation.  The course has been designed to provide the new patient navigator basic skills necessary to begin providing patient navigation to patients while under the supervision of or in partnership with a clinical partner.  The course will also provide current nurses, CN, lay individuals, and family members a guideline for establishing a patient navigation program or for providing patient navigation for a family member.

Go to the Native American Cancer Research website to learn more about NACR and the training and outreach work that has been done over the last twenty years.  Register early to hold your slot.  Payment is due with the registration by Aug 1, 2016.  Course perfect for Community Health Representatives, Nurses, Community Health Aides, and other interested in learning more about Native Patient Navigation.

Patient navigation is a patient-centric healthcare service delivery model. It is a patient-centric concept that concentrates on the movement of patients along the continuum of medical care.  This training focuses on cancer patient navigation with American Indian patients.

Course Instructors:  The course will be taught by a staff of four individuals including Linda Burhansstipanov, DrPH, MSPH, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, who has been a leader nationally in patient navigation since the early 1990s, working with Dr. Harold Freeman and others to first do research on patient navigation and give guidance and direction to others working in the field;  Linda U Krebs, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN, a professional nurse and educator who has provided cancer care for over 35 years and has worked with the AI community for over twenty; Lisa D. Harjo, MAEd, a well-known trainer and health educator who has worked in the field for over 16 years and has helped develop curriculum for patient navigation programs in many tribes and communities; and Corrie Santos, PhD Ed, who did her dissertation with patient navigation throughout the country.


Posted in: Blog, Denver Metro, Patient Navigator News, Upcoming Events

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PNTC trainer visits White House to advocate for cancer research

Andi picAndrea (Andi) Dwyer, a trainer for the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative and co-director of the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, recently visited Washington, D.C., and met with White House officials to discuss colorectal cancer advocacy. She is pictured here (at center) with Amy Williams (right), National Cancer Institute, Acting Director Office of Advocacy, and Patrick Mahoney (left), Advocacy Relations Manager Office of Advocacy.

Here is Andi’s blog about the experience:

It’s not every day you check your voice mail to learn that you are being invited to the White House to share your experience. It was my first and it was fantastic experience.  The invite came from the National Cancer Institute, following up on research advocacy and work I’ve led in partnership with University of Colorado and Fight Colorectal Cancer.

This voice message held a special invite to come to the White House with a special team of the Vice President’s Moonshot Program, to share experiences with linking to patients clinical trials. I was invited because of my connection with Fight CRC and efforts at University of Colorado as we’ve tackled this extremely complex but necessary effort.  Specifically, to think about how the current search engine tools in the field and how can be enhanced to help patients, clinicians, caregivers and anyone looking for a clinical trial in cancer might connect.

There is a lot of fantastic work outlined in the Moonshot program, much of it centered on connecting and improving resources that are already in existence, and dedicated conversations to be sure this effort continues on even beyond this administration.

Prior to my White House meeting, I connected with leadership here at CU, with Fight CRC, the Colorado Cancer Coalition and community to be sure to integrate ideas and experiences from a broad perspective and all of these groups are primed to take active steps to move the needle in this area.  I will continue to infuse these ideas with the NCI, additional Moonshot Initiatives and most importantly, ensure these efforts truly engage and help patients who are in need in Colorado and with Fight CRC.

Reposted with permission from the University of Colorado Cancer Center blog.

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Details announced for CHW/PN/PdS Alliance meeting on July 8

confYou are invited to the Community Health Worker, Patient Navigator, Promotor de Salud Alliance meeting to be held July 8 from 1-4 p.m. The tentative agenda is below. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Alliance work to-date and our plan to advance our collective efforts in Colorado, for CHW, PN and PdS efforts. We are seeking attendance and input statewide. We hope you can attend. Please feel free to distribute this invite within your networks.

You can join the meeting remotely or in-person on July 8, 1-4 p.m.

COPIC Offices
7351 E. Lowry Blvd
Denver, CO 80230

Please RSVP here for this meeting. The final agenda and further details (including remote connections info) about the meeting will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

Patient Navigator, Community Health Worker and Promotor de Salud Alliance

Summer Meeting, July 8, 2016 1:00-4:00 pm

COPIC-7351 E. Lowry Blvd., Ste. 400

Denver, CO 80230

(Remote Connection Information Forthcoming)

I. Welcome and Introductions

II. Goals of Meeting

a. Update members on the progress and changes to the Alliance

b. Share policy changes and efforts occurring nationally and in Colorado

c. Elicit feedback from the PN, CHW and PdS community in shaping the vision and the direction of the Alliance

d. Discuss the future of the Alliance activities

III. Progress and Changes to the Patient Navigator, Community Health Worker and Promotor de Salud Alliance

a. Share brief history of Alliance

b. Update on changes to the Alliance leadership, structure, and name

c. Infrastructure-CH
W PN PdS Portal and Website-Powered by 2-1-1

IV. Patient Navigator, Community Health Worker and Promotor de Salud Alliance State and National Landscape

a. Overview of national and state efforts affecting Patient Navigator, Community Health Worker and Promotor de Salud Alliance

b. Colorado Opportunities: Panel Presentation

* Training Opportunities

* Workforce Development Initiatives

* Statewide Initiatives

c. Audience Involvement

V. Network Break and Partner Updates

VI. Shaping the Vision and the Direction of the Alliance

a. Brief overview of Alliance Mission and Operating Guidelines:

b. Small group/table discussions of the Mission and Operating Guidelines:

i. Based on the state and national landscape, which aspects of plan align with these efforts?

ii. What areas need to be changed/adapted?

iii. What are your ideas for areas of focus not included in the mission and operating guidelines?

c. Small group report-outs of top 2-3 reflections/feedback on mission and operating guidelines

VII.Next steps for Alliance

d. Quarterly meetings

e. Fall convening

Posted in: Blog, Denver Metro, Patient Navigator News, Upcoming Events

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CDC announces new resource for public health communicators

cdc-logoIn the United States, 9 in 10 adults may have problems understanding and using common health information. By using CDC’s new resource, Everyday Words for Public Health Communication, you can ensure that your organization’s communications are clearer and easier to understand.

Everyday Words provides:

  • Substitute terms
  • Real-life examples of complex public health language
  • Revised wording
  • Tips to reinforce meaning and avoid other common pitfalls

Everyday Words is a result of years of CDC communication experience, formative research, and testing with diverse audiences.

Visit CDC’s health literacy website for more information about Everyday Words, training, and other health literacy resources you can use.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Posted in: Blog, Patient Navigator News, Patient Navigator Training Collaborative

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Non licensed navigators needed to pilot-test patient scenarios

045Experienced, non-licensed (non nurse/social worker) patient navigators are needed to help pilot-test the state’s future PN skills exam on Jan. 23, 2016, at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. This pilot test requires PNs to work with professional patient actors using real-life patient scenarios.

PN volunteers will be asked to meet with up to 15 patient actors during a 3.5-hour session. Participants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation documenting participation in the event. Free parking and lunch will be provided, as well as a $25 gift card.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is working to establish voluntary credentialing for lay patient navigator educational/training programs and create a state-managed registry of PNs who have successfully completed the training program and/or skills test in Colorado.

CDPHE has partnered with the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE) on the Anschutz Campus to test these patient scenarios using the same process that CAPE uses to evaluate physicians and other licensed providers’ ability to work with and communicate with patients.

Although the PNs at this pilot test will not be personally evaluated, don’t miss this opportunity to provide feedback and obtain experience related to the future testing procedures!

Personal auto expenses for mileage will be reimbursed as per state policy. For those who attend from outside of the Front Range metro area, travel and lodging may be provided (must be estimated and approved prior to participation). CDPHE has budgeted for unintended travel costs in case inclement weather impedes travel.

You are eligible to participate if you are an experienced non-licensed PN (other job titles may be used at your work place) performing such duties as:

  • Linking patients with services
  • Providing information and resources
  • Helping providers interact with patients
  • Offering health education and promoting behavior changes.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Pat Uris at 303.692.2577 or Response is required by Dec. 18, 2015.

Posted in: Blog, Denver Metro, Patient Navigator News, Upcoming Events

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