Health navigator career pathways

Changing workforce landscape
One option to meet the demand for health navigators in Colorado is to provide health navigator training via the community college system, and create career pathways for this workforce such as a baccalaureate degree in public health or other health-related professions. There is a shortage of public health workers and other health professions, and health navigators could help fill in this need.
Exploring workforce solutions
The Colorado Community College System and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) jointly sponsored an invitational meeting “Unifying Industry, Education and Health/Patient Navigators,” in September 2016 to explore opportunities for career pathways and stackable credentials for unlicensed health navigators. The meeting included a presentation and discussion by Cynthia Wilson, Ed D. Vice President, Learning and Research, League for Innovation in the Community College. Dr. Wilson’s presentation focused on the League’s report related to the future of public health education, including health navigators. The meeting also included overviews of the industry demand for health navigators and public health workforces in Colorado, health navigator training programs funded by CDPHE, and public health and health navigator-related public health baccalaureate programs in Colorado. Attendees from Colorado community colleges discussed potential career pathway models that make sense for Colorado. This meeting was the “first step” in ongoing state-wide discussions of Colorado’s health navigator and public health workforces. CDPHE will continue to work on potential career pathways and stackable credentials, including academic certificate health navigator programs for Colorado’s community college system.
In this webinar (recorded March 8, 2016), Richard Riegelman and Kay Perrin present on recent initiatives to bring public health and health navigation education to community colleges.
Reference documents