Establishing Patient/ Health Navigator Programs for Education, Employment and Career Advancement

A California Community College Case Study

The nation’s first Patient Navigator program was developed in 1990 for poor and underserved patients receiving treatment for cancer at the Harlem Hospital Center in New York City.1 Since then, hundreds of patient/health navigation programs have been established to meet a variety of patient needs in settings that include community clinics, outpatient and treatment centers, and schools. In all settings the patient/health navigator identifies, anticipates, and helps to alleviate barriers that patients encounter.

Education and training of navigators has also taken place in a variety of settings. These include employers, training institutes2, community based organizations, extended education departments associated with colleges and universities, and, to a lesser extent, community colleges.

This report and its associated tools are intended for employers of patient/health navigators and community colleges as they partner to meet both workforce needs and training. Tools found in the Attachments of this report were primarily developed by an employer/educator Competency to Curriculum (C2C) workgroup and can be used to create either an entry level program for navigators or additional training in patient health navigation to an existing related program.

Prepared by Career Ladders Project for Asian Americans for Community Involvement
August 2015