UMMS Affiliation

UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Preventive Medicine | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion


Patient Navigators are trained, lay health care workers who guide patients in overcoming barriers to health care access and utilization. Little evidence exists regarding reach and impact of Patient Navigators for chronic disease management. This study evaluated a Patient Navigator program aimed at optimizing health care utilization among ethnically diverse patients with diabetes and/or hypertension at a community health center (CHC). Trained Patient Navigators contacted eligible patients who had not seen a primary care provider (PCP) for > /= 6 months. Outcomes included number of patients reached by Patient Navigators and seen by PCPs after Patient Navigator contact. Distributions and frequencies of outcomes pre- and post-call were compared. A total of 215 patients had > /= 1 call attempt from Patient Navigators. Of these, 74 were additionally contacted via mailed letters or at the time of a CHC visit. Among the 45 patients reached, 77.8% scheduled an appointment through the Patient Navigator. These patients had higher rates of PCP visits 6 months post-call (90%) than those not reached (42.2%) (p < 0.0001). Findings emphasize the value of direct telephone contact in patient health care re-engagement and may inform the development of future Patient Navigator programs to improve reach and effectiveness.


Community health center, Patient navigator, Program evaluation, Patient engagement

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© 2015 The Authors.

DOI of Published Version



Prev Med Rep. 2015 Aug 13;2:664-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.08.002. eCollection 2015.Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Preventive medicine reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.