The Patient Navigator Program (“PNP”) is part of the Women’s Health Education Navigation (W.H.E.N.) network and is generously funded by the March of Dimes and the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York. The program’s mission is to improve health outcomes for justice-involved women and their children. The Patient Navigator works with clients one-on-one to establish a “medical home” for every client and her children, identify healthcare and social service needs, and link clients to other organizations and services. The Patient Navigator Program currently has offices in Syracuse and Buffalo.
The Patient Navigator Program provides referrals to many community agencies and health care providers, including:
- Medical providers
- Daycare providers
- Legal advocacy for civil cases
- Lactation consultation
- Social services such as SNAP [food stamps], TANF [Temporary Assistance to Needy Families], and HEAP [Home Energy Assistance Program]
- Smoking cessation
- Nutritional services for women and children, including WIC [Women, Infants and Children]
- Emergency housing
- Parenting classes and newborn care
- Lactation consultation
The Patient Navigator Program receives referrals from justice system partners and a variety of agencies that work with the justice system. Clients can be referred by judges, court staff, community-based social service providers, substance-abuse treatment facilities, mental health providers, local jail or detention facilities, and community supervision agencies. All clients must “touch” the justice system in some way. For questions about specific eligibility or becoming a referral source, please contact the staff listed below.
In 2016, the Syracuse Patient Navigator Program (“PNP”) provided services to 88 female clients, 27 of whom were pregnant. All pregnant clients receive long-term case management, including attendance at prenatal appointments, assistance with enrolling in health insurance, and identifying postnatal care needs such as screening for post-natal depression. The majority of clients were referred by Human Trafficking Intervention Court, Syracuse City Criminal Court, and Onondaga County Family Court. The most pressing needs of clients included safe housing, public assistance, prenatal care, domestic violence services, free legal services, and substance abuse and mental health counseling. Clients were also provided with educational materials about positive parenting behaviors, healthy pregnancies, and interconception health care. Twenty of the 21 babies born to PNP clients in 2016 were full term and drug free.
In May 2015, the Syracuse Patient Navigator Program and the Onondaga County Health Department’s Maternal & Infant Community Health Collaborative Program (MICHC) launched a Health Education Series at the Onondaga County Justice Center. The series is a biweekly program available to female inmates of child-bearing age. The curriculum, developed by the PNP and MICHC program staff, focuses on reproductive health, including contraception and sexually transmitted infections, chronic disease prevention and treatment, and prenatal care. The goal of the program is to enhance inmates’ understanding of their own health care and to give them the tools to access available resources in Onondaga County upon release from incarceration. During 2016, approximately 600 women attended the Health Education Series, about 88% of whom indicated that they had benefited from the classes.
To learn more
Please contact program staff to learn more about the Patient Navigator program:
Laura Stabile, LCSW