The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is pleased to add the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging at the University of Colorado as a Recognized Health Navigator Training Program. Recognized programs must demonstrate that their training curricula meet the entry-level core competencies for individuals to become credentialed health navigators in Colorado. Building the health navigator workforce is a core component of the state’s strategy to eliminate barriers to accessing health care and promote positive health outcomes for all Coloradans.
“We know that individuals who have a relationship with a trusted member of a healthcare team are far more likely to be able to access critical preventive care and support for disease management,” said Yvette Camarena, a health navigation specialist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We are pleased the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging will play a significant role in growing this important career in our state.”
Health navigators (also known as patient navigators or resource navigators) are embedded in healthcare teams to help individuals overcome barriers to quality health care, including insurance or lack thereof, poor health literacy, transportation, child care, and more. Health navigation is an evidence-based practice that improves health outcomes and reduces health care costs.
Students graduating from recognized training programs are eligible to take a standardized test that, once passed, qualifies them as credentialed health navigators. Those individuals are then listed on the state registry website. Individuals completing coursework in health navigation at the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging learn fundamental concepts in health navigation and receive a certificate of completion that can be included on a resume or portfolio or shared with potential employers.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve as a recognized Health Navigation Training program,” said Dr. Kathryn Nearing, principal investigator for a National Institute on Aging award that allows the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging to offer the training and health navigation credential at no cost to participants. “We hope this program will open doors for older adults who may be unemployed, underemployed, or seeking encore careers, and enable them to find meaningful roles serving the community.”
There are currently four Recognized Health Navigator Training Programs in the state. While there is currently no formal licensing for health navigators, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment works to ensure high-quality health navigation services through its Health Navigator Workforce Development Initiative, which includes a registry of health navigators who complete the training program and pass the competency evaluation. For more information on health navigators and how to become a Recognized Training Program, visit the health navigator credentialing program web page.
To find out more about the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging at the University of Colorado and how to become a health navigator, please visit the Center’s Health Navigator information page.
Syndicated from the CDPHE newsroom