Education

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OFFERINGS FOR GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Our students seek immersive, practical experiences to deepen advocacy skills for the health and social sectors. Students can apply for a certificate program, enroll in individual courses, or complete field placements, clerkships and fellowships.

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Experiential learning for graduate students

Graduate students from multiple disciplines assist people diagnosed with serious chronic and life-threatening illnesses as they navigate multiple complex systems of care and services.

Students typically come from law, medicine, the MPH program, pharmacy, social work, genetic counseling and other graduate programs. For more information, you can reach us at learning@patientpartnerships.org.

Learn more about the CPP clinical experience

Graduate certificate program

The Center’s Health Advocacy Certificate Program educates a diversity of graduate and professional students interested in health advocacy. The 12-credit program is an innovative, experiential, interprofessional advocacy training experience for graduate students from across campus.

Learn more about the Health Advocacy Certificate Program. Or, to get started with an advising session, please send us an email (learning@patientpartnerships.org) or call 608 263-7736.

Medical-legal partnership for law students

The Medical-Legal Partnership is a Pro Bono clinic in which Law Students learn to advocate with primary care patients who need legal assistance to address health-harming social needs.

Learn more about the Medical-Legal Partnership 

Community resource navigator program

Undergraduate students can enroll in Legal Studies 400/699 to participate in the Community Resource Navigator Program.

With the help of supervisors, students work with patients to help them connect with needed community resources and follow-up with them regularly to help them stay healthy. Meeting regularly as a class, students learn about the important links between basic social and economic needs and health, interact directly with patients to help them meet their needs and learn important patient advocacy skills.

Law and pre-law students are on hand to help patients with health harming legal needs. In this win-win-win program, patients receive guidance as they navigate through the web of social service and legal systems, students learn important skills and perspectives, and providers gain allies in supporting patients who struggle to access the resources that will boost health outcomes.

Learn more about the Community Resource Navigator Program

Legal studies 400: Understanding the impact of social and legal issues on health

Legal Studies 400 – Understanding the Impact of Social and Legal Issues on Health, is a service-learning course that engages students in direct work with patients at a local clinic six hours per week. Students will develop an understanding of how social determinants of health affect peoples’ lives. Students will also attend a weekly seminar where they will reflect on their experiences in the clinic and further explore how social location impacts health, legal and social service delivery.

Law and pre-law students are on hand to help patients with health harming legal needs. In this win-win-win program, patients receive guidance as they navigate through the web of social service and legal systems, students learn important skills and perspectives, and providers gain allies in supporting patients who struggle to access the resources that will boost health outcomes.

Learn more about Legal Studies 400/699, the Community Resource Navigator Program

LIFT Dane: Pro Bono Law Student Opportunity

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane):
Technology-enhanced Pop-Up Legal Clinics
P.O. Box 259463
Madison, WI 53725

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane) is a partnership between the Economic Justice Institute, Legal Action of Wisconsin, UW Law School’s civil clinics, including the Center for Patient Partnerships, and Employment and Training Association to create an online platform that provides easy online access to public data and services to assist individuals eliminate legal barriers to better employment.

For low income and fragile middle-class workers, the opportunity for economic security and well-being often winds through the civil legal justice system. Our community is no exception. Thousands in Dane County are weighed down by fixable minor legal problems: suspended driver’s licenses, consumer debt, child support, and criminal records, that have major impacts on their ability to advance in the workforce, secure housing, and stabilize their families. Most legal services are focused on one issue – LIFT Dane’s app will be designed to provide a holistic Legal Tune Up to determine all the legal issues a person might face.

Legal services will be provided at community-based pop-up legal clinics. Sites will include employers, job centers, social service organizations, libraries, neighborhood centers, and other community gathering spaces. (The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2)

LIFT Dane will start by helping people restore suspended driver’s licenses, assisting people identify other legal problems they may have, and referring them to further legal services and employment support. Students will help pilot the application being built to streamline legal services. Over time the technology and pop-ups will address multiple legal issues. In addition to pop-ups, the technology will be available for use by any stakeholder in Dane County – self-represented individuals, lawyers (and law students) at clinics and community-based firms, and community advocates. Students will be supervised by clinical faculty at the Center for Patient Partnerships and the Neighborhood Law Clinic and staff attorneys at community-based partner organizations.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 5-10
  • Project start/end date: Ongoing. We are recruiting volunteers for:
    1. Community-based pop-up legal clinics; and
    2. Help testing the LIFT Dane application
  • Approximate hours of work requested: We ask students to commit to at least 9 hours over the Spring semester.  Three hours for training and then 6 providing services over 2-4 pop-up clinics or help testing the new technology.   Pop-up clinics will be primarily on weekdays; shifts will last 2-4 hours. Application testing sessions will be: 1-2 hours.
  • Training: All volunteers must complete a three-hour training on reinstating driver’s licenses in late January or early February.  When the technology is available, students will be introduced to the Legal Tune Up.  Additional training will be provided as new modules are rolled out.
  • Transportation: Pop-up sites will vary, with attention to access by public transportation.  Carpooling will also be coordinated.  The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2
  • Desired course or clinic experience: No specific course or clinic experience required.  Training will be provided. Complete the required Pro-bono online ethics course prior to beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To apply: Submit an email with a one to two paragraph explanation of interest in volunteering to sachin@patientpartnerships.org.
  • Questions? Contact Sachin Gupte at the Center for Patient Partnerships at sachin@patientpartnerships.org or 608-262-6667.
Group of professional students in discussion in chairs around a coffee table

Continuing education and professional development

Our programs and courses for returning and gap year students offer flexibility and practicality to build sought-after skills for work in the health, social services, and human resources sectors.

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Introduction to Patient Advocacy (Law 940)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the core skills employed in patient advocacy. Emphasis is placed on access and application of information, critical thinking and reflective practice, creative and collaborative problem-solving, critical questioning, and communication.

(Listed as Law 940–Online course; Offered only as part of the Consumer Health Advocacy Certificate, or as a standalone course for professional, non-credit students)

Learn more about Introduction to Patient Advocacy (Law 940)

Consumer Health Advocacy Capstone Certificate

Returning Adult and Gap Year Students can become part of a dynamic and thoughtful learning community that makes a strong, positive impact on the well-being of patients and on the health care industry as a whole. Our educational approach encourages hands-on learning. UW–Madison offers the nation’s only certificate program with an experiential Patient Advocacy Clinic.

Learn more about the Consumer Health Advocacy Capstone Certificate

Tailored group and professional trainings

Is health advocacy relevant to a course you teach? Would your community organization benefit from learning about topics relevant to patients navigating the health care system? Consider inviting faculty from the Center to present an interactive class session for your course or community event.

We can also develop trainings tailored to meet your organizational needs. We offer consulting, educational programming, and curriculum development services for:

  • Health care organizations
  • Medical and health professional schools
  • Professional associations
  • Business and governmental entities
  • HR/EAP providers

Contact us to discuss co-designing a training for your group or organization

eyes with a mask

“My experience here at the Center has already had a huge impact on how I talk and think. I listen much better than I used to; I ask questions I never would’ve before. I feel much more confident talking about illness and cancer and death than I used to. All useful skills in any walk of life…my experience here has influenced my decision to look for opportunities to work with underserved people within my own community.”

– CHA Capstone Certificate Student

Complete course listing

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Patient-Centered Care and Health Advocacy Clinical

In this experiential, interprofessional course students work directly with patients facing serious and life-threatening illness as they navigate healthcare, benefits, and insurance systems.

From Patient to Policy: Models of System Level Advocacy

This seminar (Law 940) is designed to build on the patient advocacy clinical experience by (1) deepening understanding of the systemic causes of problems consumers experience with health and health care in the U.S. and remedial opportunities; (2) examining key elements of, and challenges/opportunities in, the advocacy field; (3) strengthening identity and capacity as an advocate – with particular emphasis on system-level strategies.

The course: introduces theories of change, themes, roles, and strategies of system level advocacy; highlights the opportunities and limitations of patients in the policy domain, explores the role of advocacy groups, and critically examines advocacy in the legislative, regulatory, community, and organizational arenas.

Medical Care and Public Health Systems

Public Health 785 introduces students to the fundamental characteristics of U.S. medical care and public health systems. We’ll cover key factors that affect system performance, including organization, financing, and delivery of health care services; management and policy challenges facing medical care and public health systems, especially with regard to reducing disparities in health outcomes; and public policy processes and analysis of options for system improvement. Using history and research evidence as guides, we’ll focus heavily on using systems thinking to address complex issues.

Currently only open to students enrolled in the UWSMPH MPH program or joint degree programs with the MPH.

Advocating for Populations: Partnering to Improve Community Health

This four week, interactive, e-learning seminar (Law 940) is designed to equip future health care providers with tools to improve community health in three ways: (1) by deepening your exploration of determinants of health and the systemic causes of problems consumers experience with health and health care in the U.S.; (2) by introducing you to a range of strategies for creating productive change with and on behalf of groups of patients; and (3) by strengthening your ability to see the connections between the experiences of individual patients and the organizational, political, social, and economic structures that influence the experiences of all patients. We will introduce theories of change and strategies relevant to system level advocacy; highlight opportunities for and limitations faced by patients in the policy domain; explore the role of advocacy groups; and critically examine advocacy opportunities for health care providers in the legislative, regulatory, community, and organizational arenas.

Further, students will enhance their ability to form key partnerships and work effectively with a broad range of other actors central to improving health and health systems. The online course utilizes discussion forums, collaborative documents, and multimedia sources. Assignments will include reflective pieces, and short papers. Community forum participation will factor significantly into the final grade.

(Law 940 – online course; offered for medical, occupational and physical therapy, and genetic counseling students: 2 Credits)

Advocating for Patients: Getting the Right Care at the Right Time

This four week, interactive, e-learning seminar (Law 940) is designed to provide an overview of the complexities of the U.S. Health Care System, as experienced by patients and health care providers caring for them. It will also build your capacity for advocacy in clinical settings by exploring strategies for addressing barriers and inequities, and for harnessing system resources and building on community assets. Study of public and private insurance, medical billing, employment issues, and disability will provide future health care providers with a comprehensive view of the myriad of challenges patients face as they navigate illness and health care – and concrete tools to address these issues that often stymie health improvement for individuals and populations. Each topical module will conclude with guided reflection where students envision prevention and response strategies, resources, the provider’s role, and the roles of other key stakeholders. The online course utilizes discussion forums, collaborative documents, and multimedia sources. Assignments will include reflective pieces, and short papers. Community forum participation will factor significantly into the final grade.

(Law 940 – online course; offered for medical, occupational and physical therapy, and genetic counseling students: 2 Credits)

Health Advocacy Externship

This externship opportunity (Law 854) is available to certificate students wishing to apply their advocacy skills in a community-based non-profit, government entity, or health care organization. Students work with an Advocacy Faculty mentor to identify a site, on-site supervisor, and prepare a learning contract to guide their experience. The Applied Advocacy Experience is a prerequisite.

(Law 854–on campus; combination (on campus & online); or online; offered to certificate students only)

Directed Research Project or Paper

In our Directed Research (Law 990) option, students work with a faculty mentor on a self-directed project or paper from conception to completion. Past projects have included an analysis of cost-savings as a result of advocacy interventions, a video examining advocacy throughout the stages of cancer care, creation of an information packet for a spinal cord injury support group, and a needs assessment for a community non-profit contemplating advocacy training.

(Law 990: Directed Research–on campus; combination (on campus & online); or online)

LIFT Dane: Pro Bono Law Student Opportunity

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane):
Technology-enhanced Pop-Up Legal Clinics
P.O. Box 259463
Madison, WI 53725

LIFT Dane (Legal Interventions for Transforming Dane) is a partnership between the Economic Justice Institute, Legal Action of Wisconsin, UW Law School’s civil clinics, including the Center for Patient Partnerships, and Employment and Training Association to create an online platform that provides easy online access to public data and services to assist individuals eliminate legal barriers to better employment.

For low income and fragile middle-class workers, the opportunity for economic security and well-being often winds through the civil legal justice system. Our community is no exception. Thousands in Dane County are weighed down by fixable minor legal problems: suspended driver’s licenses, consumer debt, child support, and criminal records, that have major impacts on their ability to advance in the workforce, secure housing, and stabilize their families. Most legal services are focused on one issue – LIFT Dane’s app will be designed to provide a holistic Legal Tune Up to determine all the legal issues a person might face.

Legal services will be provided at community-based pop-up legal clinics. Sites will include employers, job centers, social service organizations, libraries, neighborhood centers, and other community gathering spaces. (The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2)

LIFT Dane will start by helping people restore suspended driver’s licenses, assisting people identify other legal problems they may have, and referring them to further legal services and employment support. Students will help pilot the application being built to streamline legal services. Over time the technology and pop-ups will address multiple legal issues. In addition to pop-ups, the technology will be available for use by any stakeholder in Dane County – self-represented individuals, lawyers (and law students) at clinics and community-based firms, and community advocates. Students will be supervised by clinical faculty at the Center for Patient Partnerships and the Neighborhood Law Clinic and staff attorneys at community-based partner organizations.

  • Number of student volunteers requested: 5-10
  • Project start/end date: Ongoing. We are recruiting volunteers for:
    1. Community-based pop-up legal clinics; and
    2. Help testing the LIFT Dane application
  • Approximate hours of work requested: We ask students to commit to at least 9 hours over the Spring semester.  Three hours for training and then 6 providing services over 2-4 pop-up clinics or help testing the new technology.   Pop-up clinics will be primarily on weekdays; shifts will last 2-4 hours. Application testing sessions will be: 1-2 hours.
  • Training: All volunteers must complete a three-hour training on reinstating driver’s licenses in late January or early February.  When the technology is available, students will be introduced to the Legal Tune Up.  Additional training will be provided as new modules are rolled out.
  • Transportation: Pop-up sites will vary, with attention to access by public transportation.  Carpooling will also be coordinated.  The first pop-ups will likely be at the Dane County Job Center on Aberg Ave., Bus Route 2
  • Desired course or clinic experience: No specific course or clinic experience required.  Training will be provided. Complete the required Pro-bono online ethics course prior to beginning this opportunity. All levels (1L-3L) welcome.
  • To apply: Submit an email with a one to two paragraph explanation of interest in volunteering to sachin@patientpartnerships.org.
  • Questions? Contact Sachin Gupte at the Center for Patient Partnerships at sachin@patientpartnerships.org or 608-262-6667.

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Technology requirements for students

Hardware and Software Requirements:

  • Operating System
    • Windows: Windows 10 or higher
    • Mac: Mac OS X (10.12 or higher)
  • Internet
    • You need sufficient internet bandwidth/speed to complete all tasks required in our courses. For the Applied Advocacy Experience this includes activities such as frequent video conferencing and telephone calls via your computer.
  • Video & Sound
    • Headset with microphone (REQUIRED)
    • Webcam (REQUIRED)
  • Browser
    • Firefox (latest version)
    • Chrome (latest version)
    • Safari (latest version)
    • Check to see what browser you are using now and if you need to update at www.whatbrowser.org.
  • Programs & Plugins
    • Java (free)
    • Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat
    • Adobe Flash Player (free)
  • E-Mail
    • You must have the ability to send and receive e-mail from your computer

Contact us at learning@patientpartnerships.org if you have specific questions about the above requirements.