On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the Career Services Center and Patient Navigator Program hosted a panel of 10 Volunteer Coordinators and Patient Navigator volunteers to share what it means to be a Patient Navigator in their unique healthcare environments.
Patient Navigator students—about to embark on a cooperative externship course—had the chance to ask questions and mingle with the volunteer coordinators and volunteers to learn what it’s like to do Patient Navigation in an array of healthcare environments. Not only did students get a chance to rub shoulders with possible internship site leaders, they got to hear about the real difference patient navigators make in the field. From making phone calls to help patients follow up with appointments to guiding undocumented patients through the process of receiving a liver transplant, it was evident that patient navigators are already making a difference in the lives and health outcomes of patients.
As an Emergency Department Resident from Highland Hospital stated, “When a patient comes to the ER who’s suicidal because he’s tired of being homeless, I don’t have a treatment for homelessness. That’s when [the patient navigators] can help patients work through those problems that we can’t solve in the ED.”
The panel represented a diverse range of Bay Area healthcare providers including:
- Bay Area Regional Help Desk Consortium in San Francisco
- Highland Hospital in Oakland
- San Francisco General Hospital
- Asian Americans for Community Involvement in San Jose
- California Pacific Medical Center
- St. Luke’s Hospital in San Francisco
- El Concilio of San Mateo County
Article and Photos by Lezra Chenportillo & Paul Rueckhaus