Picture of Dr. Patricia Valverde

Patricia Valverde

A letter from the director: Navigators rose to the challenges of 2020; COVID-19 disparities continue

Welcome to 2021!

Happy New Year to our PNTC friends and partners.

Like you, we are excited to start a new year. We have been overwhelmed by the commitment and resiliency shown by patient navigators, community health workers, promotores de salud and others who strive to improve the health of our communities. As COVID-19 has ravaged through our communities, you quickly rose to the challenge of increased needs, changing information and new systems to access for support. PNTC wants to be that support for you so as needs change, the navigation workforce can rise to meet those needs.

COVID-19 has laid bare the existing disparities in our society that many of us have decried and work to eliminate over the years. We hope that the public, policy makers and leaders will address the structural issues, root causes, that are so obvious including: the technological divide, lack of paid sick leave, unaffordable housing, low pay for essential workers, racism, and differences in resources by school district and by school, among many other issues.

We are grateful that our funders, The Colorado Health Foundation, allowed for an early pivot to COVID-19 resources and information. Before we all experienced zoom fatigue, PNTC hosted virtual happy hours, self-care support and COVID-19-related webinars. Now, even as we offer our courses remotely, we hope to schedule in-person trainings later this year.

Please let us know how PNTC can support your shift to the “new normal.” We think that telehealth will be here to stay. How can navigators support the use of telehealth so that it does not become yet another way that under-resourced populations are left further behind in cutting-edge services? We believe that navigation can support populations with needs related to computer literacy and technology challenges.

PNTC is here to train and support you as you take on new duties and roles during this year.

Stay healthy and safe!

– Patricia Valverde, PNTC Director
– Erin Martinez, PNTC Manager
& all our trainers and partners