Introducing… an ambulatory and community navigator

Introducing… an ambulatory and community navigator

Candace Coe has been at HHS for over 18 years as a neuro occupational therapist. In recent years, she has lead the development of a new clinical role in the comprehensive spasticity management clinic and developed the new ambulatory and community navigator role.

What do you love most about your role?

The ambulatory and community navigator role brings together all teams along the entire care continuum through an enhanced communication process to provide patients with the best individualized care plan. By breaking down the walls of the traditional health care silos, I help patients successfully and smoothly reintegrate into the community. I love developing these plans with our community partners. It empowers patients to steer their own path of recovery via improved access to education, resources, and creative thinking techniques.

 It has been invaluable in reducing patients’ anxiety about their future.

What do you find challenging?

The challenge is that these patients have a variety of specialized care needs that require timely access to clinical coordination. In order to provide the patient with the right service at the right time along their recovery, technology and alternative methods of communication are utilized. The patient also requires a sustainable plan beyond the hospital walls. It can be a tricky juggling act.

Describe a typical day.

In my role, no one day looks the same. I wear many hats from staff coach and mentor, to educator and advocate for patient care needs, to a juggler of schedules for services that range from clinical to non-clinical care to community services. Since the role is new and in an ongoing development phase, I am regularly working on quality improvement projects. Testing new initiatives and evaluating their effectiveness to improve our service delivery and our patient’s satisfaction with our care. Finding funding and research for new equipment that meets best practice guidelines is at the forefront of most of my days to improve the patient experience.

My goal is to showcase to patients that the hospital and the community are one supportive system.

Tell us about your most gratifying experience at HHS.

My most gratifying experience was recognizing the need for a navigator in ambulatory services and successfully creating the role even within budget restraints. The role has improved the efficiencies of the ambulatory team and their ability to reintegrate patients into the community. It has been invaluable in reducing patients’ anxiety about their future and providing them with a fearless confidence in making choices that suit them best.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

The ambulatory and community navigator role is a brand new innovative role, created to help patients and their families navigate our complex health care system. In this role, my goal is to showcase to patients that the hospital and the community are one supportive system, and that they are the leader of their own recovery journey.