Welcome to the Center for Family Navigation and Community Health Promotion!

Our Center serves as a platform within our Pediatrics department to encourage family-centered interventions delivered by “family navigators,” a type of community health worker (CHW). Our goal is to establish a link between research and clinical practice to improve child and family outcomes in physical and mental health.

In 2015, the Center was established to standardize navigation services throughout the Pediatrics department. The goal of the Center is to prepare family navigators so to increase the quality of care for our families. The Center promotes community health through trainings and community collaborations. We work in different areas of the department, including clinical services, programmatic services and research.

What is Family Navigation?

Family navigation is an adaptation of the evidence-based patient navigation model that incorporates a family systems approach. Children cannot be treated in isolation, and the family system should be incorporated in routine pediatric care. Family navigation is designed to fill this gap by helping families navigate medical, community, and government systems to improve family health. Ultimately, the goal of family navigation is to reduce health disparities for children in pediatric settings. Our family navigation model is embedded within the community health work framework, which targets health disparities by promoting wellness and reducing barriers to care within a culturally appropriate approach.

Why use a Family Navigator?

Family navigators are part of clinical care teams and their scope of work includes:

  1. Proving a link to community-based resources
  2. Coordinating care for the entire family
  3. Screening and appropriate referrals to mental health
  4. Managing population health of their care team’s panel, including vaccination rates, wellness visits, follow-up on treatment plans
  5. Identifying barriers to appropriate care and creating action plans with families to improve access to care and treatment adherence

Family navigators are also trained to guide and motivate families during important periods of development for their children using Motivational Interviewing.

How is a Family Navigator different from a Social Worker or Nurse?

Although Family navigators may overlap in their scope of work with some social workers and nurses, navigators do not provide any clinical assessments or mental health treatments. Family navigators are the bridge between different sets of providers and systems.

Contact Us

If you are interested in using our Family Navigation model or would like consultation services, please contact Ivys.Fernandez-Pastrana@bmc.org.