Health Navigator

Position Status




NHC Position Type

Patient Navigator

Position Summary

The PMFHC is an integrated (physical health/behavioral health) primary care center that is imbedded within a behavioral health campus, designed to address the significant disparities in health care for some of the community’s most vulnerable indi­viduals, many of whom were already being served by the health system’s extensive behavioral health care continuum (i.e., seriously mentally ill and and/or homeless). The need is great. According to National Insti­tute of Mental Health research, individuals with serious mental illness die on average 25 years ear­lier than the general population. The cause of pre­mature death is frequently the result of chronic, but highly treatable, medical conditions, includ­ing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pulmonary disease, hypertension and cancer. These condi­tions can be further exacerbated by obesity; a sed­entary lifestyle; poor nutrition; tobacco, alcohol and other drug use; and other unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. Care at the health center is patient-centered, team-based and holistic, with a strong emphasis on consumer engagement and intervention strat­egies. 


The member will function as a key part of the multi-disciplinary primary care team, providing health navigation services to patient seen in the health center or engaged in the community. In this regard the member will connect patients with services essential to their success, filling in the gaps between other team members and supportive services- to ensure seamless continuity of care. The AmeriCorps member would also provide assistance with other patient support programs including chronic disease self-management education, nutrition education, smoking cessation, and homeless outreach.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Completing and submitting patient applications for social services and medication assistance programs
  • Following-up with patients to ensure documentation is completed
  • Brief health education to patients
  • Informal one-on-one training on client referrals 
  • Following up with companies to verify application status
  • Requesting medication refills for patients already enrolled
  • Attending meetings and patient huddles
  • Conducting phone outreach as assigned by leadership
  • Assisting in care coordination and resource referrals
  • Tracking referrals and closing the referral loop
  • Conducting outreach to patients via phone/letters
  • Linking patients to care by scheduling appointments
  • Researching and designing monthly education displays
  • Collaborating with leadership to meet needs of materials
  • Conducting extensive and continuous research on social services
  • Creating social service resource guides and lists for clients
  • Counseling clients on how to access social services and benefits
  • Scheduling and coordinating communication for outreach visits 
  • Registering patients as well as  providing follow-up social service navigation
  • Finding additional community resources and programs for patients
  • Screen patients for food insecurity, manage documentation of persons served, and provide patients with emergency food resources, nutrition education and accessible physical activity education. Co-coordinate annual health fair that takes place every spring. In conjunction with other AmeriCorps members and PMHS departments, the health fair will provide health-screening and testing as well as other health education to our patients.

Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate


  • Comfortable with diversity
  • Basic knowledge of medical terminology
  • Multi-tasker; ability to balance
  • Good communication skills
  • Outgoing
  • Independent
  • Open-minded
  • Non-judgemental
  • Takes initiative
  • Organized; sound organizational skills
  • Good customer service
  • Good telephone skills
  • Flexible
  • Persistent

Knowledge Required for the Position

  • Knowledge of AmeriCorps/Health Corps member requirements
  • Skill with Microsoft Office or other software for a variety of data processing operations involving a range of problem solving, record keeping, correspondence, and service tracking options


  • Member uses initiative in carrying out recurring assignments following set procedures, independently.
  • The supervisor assigns service activities, advises on changes in procedures, and is available for assistance when required.
  • The supervisor assigns service activities in terms of project objectives and basic priorities and is available for consultation in resolving controversial issues.


  • The service activities are reviewed for accuracy through spot checks, through complaints from customers, and through observation of the Member at service.
  • Completed projects are reviewed very generally to determine that objectives have been met and are in compliance with policies and regulations.


  • Written and oral guides provide specific instructions for doing service.
  • Detailed guidelines exist, including regulations and directives, handbooks, precedents, industry standards and files of previous projects.
  • Guidelines are generally applicable, but the Member independently makes adaptations in dealing with problems and unusual situations.


  • The facts or conditions of the service position are clear cut, predictable, and apply directly to the assignment.
  • The service position assignments vary significantly or often involve unusual circumstances and incomplete or conflicting data.

Purpose and Impact of Service Position Assignments

  • Member provides timely services of a personal nature to others.
  • The service position product or services affect the social, physical, and economic well-being of a substantial number of people on an ongoing basis.

Nature of Contacts

  • Clients

Special Considerations

  • Unusual service hours, involving evenings, weekends, or long shifts
  • In the space below, provide additional information or explanations.:
  • We offer opportunities to complete service hours on some evenings and weekends.

Criminal History Check Requirements Beyond NHC Standard Checks

In addition to NHC Standard Checks, all NHC Pittsburgh members are required to complete and pass criminal history checks for Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute/Diversified Care Management (DCM). Great Lakes/DCM is a third party vendor contracted with the Allegheny County Health Department (operating site for NHC Pittsburgh) to distribute NHC Pittsburgh member stipends. NHC Pittsburgh members are onboarded to Great Lakes/DCM system only when the checks have been completed and the member has passed those checks.  Along with these checks, ALL NHC Pittsburgh Members Are Required to be Vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The checks that all NHC Pittsburgh members would be required to complete and pass for Great Lakes/DCM are the following: 1) Act 33 (Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance), 2) National Sex Offender Registry Clearance,  3) Act 34 (Pennsylvania Criminal History Clearance, and 4) Act 73 (FBI Criminal History Clearance - ONLY completed via Identogo PA).

NHC members do not have to pay for the completion of these checks. Great Lakes/DCM will distribute payment codes for the Act 33 (Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance) and Act 73 (FBI Criminal History Clearance which is conducted through Identogo PA ( PA FBI fingerprinting agency). The National Sex Offender Registry Clearance and Act 34 (Pennsylvania Criminal History Clearance) will be completed by Great Lakes/DCM upon receiving requested information that members will be asked to submit.