Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scholarships Given, Scholarship Achieved

noun: scholarship; plural noun: scholarships
1. academic study or achievement; learning of a high level.
2. a grant or payment made to support a student's education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement.

As many know, the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute (PNI) is named after the Founder of Patient Navigation, Dr. Harold P. Freeman, who is responsible for initiating and developing the very first PN program to reduce disparities in access to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Since its inception nearly a quarter of a decade ago, the PNI has evolved to train its students on ways to remove barriers to additional chronic diseases, to include mental health, diabetes, heart disease, infectious disease, and HIV/AIDS. Students at the PNI throughout the years have benefited from the highest level of learning. Scholarship...

Along with the dire need in U.S. hospitals, cancer care centers, community centers, etc. for both lay Patient Navigators and Nurse Navigators, comes the need for people (with and without medical experience) to receive exceptional Patient Navigation training. Many would-be navigators, however, require financial support in order to achieve the PN certification required for jobs in this field: Scholarships.

Skills to Succeed ~ Accenture and Scholarship


In 2012, Accenture (a global management consulting, technology service, and outsourcing company) identified the PNI as a key strategic partner for its Skills to Succeed initiative. The goal of this corporate citizenship program is to help people develop skills, obtain jobs and improve their communities. Accenture solidified its commitment to the PNI with a $750,000 award to develop Patient Navigation skills training and job readiness across the United States. The PNI is utilizing this money to provide training, scholarships, and internships for individuals who are unemployed or under-employed to help get them back into the workforce as a patient navigator.

Requirements to be considered for a scholarship:
  • Must be unemployed or underemployed (working less than 20 hours/week)
  • Must submit a resume and complete a short interview with Courtney Bowen of the PNI
  • If there is a known internship/job opening that the scholarship candidate will be filling, s/he must fill and submit that information to the PNI.


CrowdRise ~ YOU and Scholarship


For these countless individuals in the United States who have the dream and determination to train to become Patient Navigators, sometimes their drive is not enough. The PNI is offering a way to raise funds through the brand new HPFPNI Campaign on CrowdRise in order to enable as many would-be PNs as possible to receive the aforementioned scholarships. Please help us spread the word. Every donation -- no matter the size! -- and every single person you share the link with will help spread the message of Patient Navigation exponentially, and will result in the certification of Patient Navigators who go on to save lives.

Click here to help future Patient Navigators receive PN training. And Thank You. You will be helping others to help others overcome hurdles and receive the best healthcare available...

Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim ~ William Feather

Friday, May 2, 2014

Profiles in Patient Navigation: Nancy Andino

Patient Navigators wear different hats, carry different titles, and assume different responsibilities. The one common thread that weaves throughout each and every navigator's role is that of removing barriers to care for those with chronic diseases. In our efforts to spread the word on how multi-faceted and incredibly important Patient Navigation is, we at the HP Freeman PNI will be featuring profiles on different prominent figures in this lifesaving field.

Meet Nancy Andino.

What is your title/job description? 
Patient Navigator Coordinator. I oversee the Patient Navigation Program at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center. I have the opportunity to offer direct service, in addition to modeling for the navigators a variety of skills acquired in my professional training, to include motivational interviewing and other evidenced-based practices.

What is your professional and educational background? 
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a MSW degree.

How did you become involved with Patient Navigation?   
I was hired by the William F. Ryan Community Health Center as Coordinator of a newly funded Patient Navigation program. The program’s goal is to help patients who suffer from chronic conditions - including diabetes, hypertension, pediatric asthma, and heart disease - address any barriers to care, and to work with the primary care practitioner on stabilizing their health.

What is your relationship with the HPFPNI? 
The Ryan Network has been able to utilize the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute to provide training to our Patient Navigators.  The extensive training received at the Institute provided our navigators an understanding of how to provide an array of services to a culturally diverse patient population and how to plan interventions accordingly.

Please offer us an anecdote from your PN experience of particular note that sticks with you, as perhaps an example of the importance of this role. 
I’ve had the opportunity to work with a patient who was referred to Patient Navigation services several times, due to an increase in her A1C readings and the discontinuation of her healthy diet. She initially felt she did not need Patient Navigation services. (This was during a stage where she was experiencing many life challenges.) 
I had previously assisted this patient with another issue and was therefore able to form a bond with the patient, ultimately helping her become involved in navigation services. We discussed her medications, the importance of checking her sugar levels daily, and how making small changes to her diet would allow her to gradually begin to better care for her health in a manner that she will be able to maintain. 

She acknowledges that, by taking an active role in her health care, her health will improve! It’s not just about going to see the doctor, but also about making behavioral changes in order to improve her health maintenance. She is now able to view her diet differently and to ultimately approach her relationship with food differently.

Are there hospitals, programs, communities, etc. that you see in your everyday life that would benefit greatly from Patient Navigation? 
Fortunately, the hospitals and many other community networks that we work with have patient navigators or care coordinators.

What are your thoughts on the future of Patient Navigation? 
I see a promising future for Patient Navigation and care coordination services. Navigators are effective at instructing individuals how to overcome barriers - all from a patient-centered perspective, focusing on their specific culture, socioeconomic status, and family norms. Patient Navigators can show patients the steps they need to take in order for them to avoid a last minute visit for medical care at an emergency room. They ultimately help the patient own their healthcare and practice good self-care. 

As more attention is placed on Patient Navigation services, and as providers and organizations are able to see the benefits their patient population can receive from these services, we will be able to see a decrease in health care spending, reduced barriers to care, and better overall health for the individual. The ongoing concern will be ensuring that sufficient funding is available to organizations providing these valuable services. 

Nancy Andino
Patient Navigator Coordinator
William F. Ryan Community Health Center