Resource Navigator Program

Group conversation in front of tall windows

In 2019, 71 Student Navigators served 608 patients.

UPDATE, 7/31/2020

Despite the suspension of new in-clinic volunteers at UW Health, our Resource Navigator team continues to provide telephonic support to already engaged patients.  The Navigator team (staff and 2 AmeriCorps members) is focused on helping patients manage the Safer at Home order and economic impacts of COVID – e.g. re: basic needs like access to food, diapers, & medical supplies and getting stimulus payments & unemployment benefits. 

Through a partnership between CPP and UW Health, students work with patients to help them connect with needed community resources and follow-up with them regularly to help them stay healthy. Providers and staff at UW Health primary care clinics, Wingra Family Medical Center and Northeast Family Medical Center, have begun asking their patients if they would like assistance meeting basic needs such as transportation, food, jobs, and child care, that we know impact their health.

Students learn about the important links between basic 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. Patients receive guidance as they navigate through the web of social service and legal systems.

As one patient described it: “Well, it makes me feel like someone cares. That I have support. It helps me, it motivates me to thrive and do better for me and my daughter with the help that I’m provided…”

Contact Lane Hanson, our Community Engagement Coordinator, to learn more.

Testimonials

“The navigator was the only consistent person to follow up with me and my son over the past three months. It means so much.”

Client, UW Health Northeast Family Medicine Clinic

“Since joining the navigator program, I’ve begun to realize the importance of being empathetic when it comes to working with patients. There are things that medications can’t solve, like food and housing insecurity, which need to be a major concern for healthcare professionals. Our job shouldn’t just be to prescribe medication, it should be to really get to know the patient.”

Steven Do, UW-Madison pharmacy student

“We ask patients if they would like us to stop contacting them, but most patients want us to continue. Lower-income people often face significant financial stress, so we default to contacting them again. And sometimes it’s just as another crisis hits. We already have that relationship established.”

Lane Hanson, Resource Navigator Program Coordinator