MCC launches patient advocate program for spring semester

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The program coordinators at Monroe Community College said demand of having health educators and community health care workers is growing faster than any other job.

The college wants to prepare students now with the Community Health Navigation Certification Program, launching this spring semester.

The main thing these patient advocates or navigators can do is help a person make behavioral changes to improve their overall health — especially now more than ever with COVID-19.

Officials said that in turn, it has had a ripple effect where it can help decrease healthcare utilization and costs. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor indicates there could be an increase of 11% of this profession by the year 2028.

“The health behaviors of individuals was important then. It’s even more important now so there is more of a need to help get our workforce really stacked up with people who can help out,” Health Studies Degree Program Coordinator Cristin Finch said.

“Through our curriculum, we have them do practice sessions so they learn how to deal with all those different kinds of individual situations, and responses and how to motivate and promote the patient centered model. It’s not that I am going to be able to change somebody as the advocate but I am going to encourage them to do it themselves and there are strategies that have proven to help with that.”

The program requires 24 credits which officials said can be completed in two semesters. The last day to register for this upcoming semester is January 19.

MCC plans to open limited in person classes on Monday, January 25.

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