LA JUNTA — Otero Junior College’s Health Navigation program received honors as a Colorado Community College System Outstanding Program on April 8 in Denver. Kaysie Schmidt, OJC Health Navigation faculty, accepted the award along with OJC President Jim Rizzuto.
The Health Navigation program consists of two possible career paths. The first is the Community Health Worker certificate. The certificate can be completed in one year of full-time study and will prepare individuals for employment as Community Health Workers.
Community Health Workers will assist clients, in a variety of settings serving as facilitators, advocates, and referral professionals linking them to health care and related social services. Their role involves basic coordination of care for patients who need help in overcoming barriers to optimal health care.
Employment opportunities are expected to grow nationally as a result of changes in health care. Preparation includes information and hands-on training in those skills needed to carry out this work, including written and verbal communication, ethics, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, human growth & development, barriers to health, basic health problems, community resources, cultural competency, end of life care, work habits and organization.
OJC is also developing an Associate of Applied Science program in Health Navigation. Current plans are to have this program in place by the Fall 2015 semester. OJC is also working with four-year schools around the state to articulate this program to a bachelor’s degree.
The program was developed as a partnership between OJC and Southeast Health Group. Southeast Health Group received a grant that was instrumental in funding curriculum development and program implementation. The cutting edge program is one of the first to be implemented and serves as a model for other developing programs.
Photo Caption: JC Carrica, Southeast Health Group Chief Operations Officer; Jackie Brown, MS, RN, APN, Southeast Health Group Integrated Care Director; Jim Rizzuto, Otero Junior College President; Becky Otteman, Southeast Health Group Chief Executive Officer; Kaysie Schmidt, Otero Junior College Health Navigator faculty; Nancy King, Development Director Southeast Health Group; and Kim Grimsley, Otero Junior College Interim Vice President of Instruction pose with the award received by the Health Navigation program from the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. The program was developed as a partnership between OJC and Southeast Health Group. Southeast Health Group received a grant that was instrumental in funding curriculum development and program implementation.