GREAT Center Offers Patient Navigator Training

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Navigating the health care system can be overwhelming for those with challenges like poverty, addiction, lack of transportation or health insurance. People can become so overwhelmed that they fail to show up for doctor visits, may stop taking their medications or resort to emergency room treatment again and again as the one source for their health care.

Gateway Community College (GCC), in partnership with the state Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Cancer Partnership, offers the first Patient Navigator Training program in the state, where students learn how to proactively guide patients through healthcare systems so they can achieve optimal health outcomes in a timely manner. According to Erika Lynch, GCC's Workforce Development Institute coordinator, "The demand for patient navigators is great and growing. There will also likely also be openings at hospitals, health centers, doctors’ offices and health insurance companies. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives – this is the perfect career.”

GCC's Patient Navigator Training program includes 24 hours of classroom learning as well as community-based observation and experience. Students will shadow patient navigators at work and take part in field work that illustrates the kind of barriers that can stand in the way of a person accessing health care.  For example, prospective patient navigators may learn to use the city bus system, visit an A.A. meeting or spend time at a New Haven homeless shelter.

Interested students should sign up for one of three orientation/assessment sessions beginning in August. Classes begin October 4 through December 6. The cost is $1,500 and payment plans are available.  Those successfully completing the program will become certified Patient Navigators. 

Additional information can be found by calling (203) 285-2300 or at