Lutheran Family Health Centers’ Patient Navigator Program Serves as a National Demonstration Project
Navigators, as guides for patients, have proven to significantly enhance a patient's ability to access health care and successfully maneuver through an often complicated system.
Late last year, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded only six grants nationally totaling $2.4 million for the project. The two-year demonstration projects will assess how navigators can best help patients managing chronic diseases.
"For many residents in Sunset Park and southwest Brooklyn, especially those who are uninsured or have language or other cultural barriers, negotiating often complex health care systems can be very daunting," said Larry K. McReynolds, executive director of the Lutheran Family Health Centers. "Patient navigators will serve as advocates in connecting patients to resources to ensure early detection and effective management for chronic illnesses."
With support from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the 1199 Training Fund, Lutheran Family Health Centers' program will train navigators to address barriers to care in diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. Seven navigators will guide patients through the health system by translating medical terminology, explaining insurance, making appointments for referral screenings and following up to make sure the patient keeps that appointment.