May 2011 Archives


First Class of Patient Navigators Graduates From SSU

For Immediate Release
First Class of Patient Navigators Graduates From SSU
Rohnert Park, CA   Sunday May 15, 2011

pncpclass2011.jpgToday 14 students graduated as Patient Navigators from an innovative program at SSU's School of Extended Education. The nine month program, one of the first of it's kind in the country, is co-sponsored by the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation in Santa Rosa. The Patient Navigator Certificate Program trained the graduates to effectively support, educate, and advocate for patients making difficult medical decisions or just trying to find their way through the often bewildering and overburdened healthcare system.

A group of family, friends, and healthcare professionals attended to the event. The speakers included Pam Koppel, LCSW and Program Coordinator, adjunct faculty Dr. Ellen Barnett and Amy Schiff, L.AC., Patrice Waite, graduating student, and Dr. Gary Pace gave the Keynote Address. Julie Barnes and Dean Mark Merickel, PhD from the School of Extended Education welcomed the graduates and presented the certificates.

Dr. Pace, a family physician from the West County Health Clinics encouraged the graduates to find their way into the healthcare system and use their skills to transform it from the inside. In her remarks to the graduating class, Pam Koppel said "You all came into this work full of passion and a commitment to the work of helping people navigate their journey through healthcare. Hold on to that passion as you go out into the world, and let go of the details of what it will look like when you land somewhere. As you do when you are navigating patients, let go of your agenda, listen to what is being presented and that will inform you of where your service can be most useful."  Patrice Waite, graduating student, had this to say to her fellow students "Whether by design or by chance, the parallels of this program to both the patients we serve and to life in general are, I believe, one of the best learning tools of this past year.  Life is fraught with uncertainty.  The best laid plans often do not pan out exactly the way I had hoped.  Surprises pop up at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places.  How I respond to life's challenges helps to determine my path." She ended her speech with a quote from Rachel Naomi Remen:  "We do not serve the weak or the broken. What we serve is the wholeness in each other and the wholeness in life. The part in you that I serve is the same part that is strengthened in me when I serve. Unlike helping or fixing or rescuing, service is mutual."