Patient Advocate - August 2023

Position Status




NHC Position Type

Capacity Builder

Position Summary

The NHC member will provide unique support to our patients, staff and clinic through an array of activities. Currently, over 90% of Birmingham Clinic (BFC) patients are chronically uninsured, and the remainder have coverage that is either not affordable or does not meet their needs. Most of our patients fall well below the federal poverty level, and nearly half do not have permanent or stable housing. Between one-third and one-half of our patients are over 50 years old. The majority of BFC patients also struggle due to disparities created by structural racism and other oppressive policies, as well as other social and political determinants such as citizenship and language barriers, transportation, health literacy, etc. NHC members’ service with our organization is instrumental in helping us work to mitigate these barriers. 

Members can have some of the most direct and regular engagements with our patients.  They have a crucial and unique niche of supportive case management, facilitating pharmaceutical assistance program applications, screening for opioid overdose risk, and coordinate our food and period hygiene pantries. They assist patients in scheduling COVID-19 immunizations and testing, provide health screenings and health education, support chronic disease care efforts, address Social Determinants of Health, and facilitating connection to community health workers and insurance navigation. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Modifying organizational systems/practices to improve service efficiency and/or effectiveness
  • Connecting patients with a variety of medical and non-medical resources, including referral to the community health worker for insurance navigation and other social resources, specialty medical services and diagnostic care.
  • Assisting staff with clinic workflow, taking vitals/health visit screenings, providing after and between-visit resources and instructions.
  • Facilitating Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Assistance Programs.
  • Provide education to our patient and provider population about the clinic's Period Hygiene and Food Pantries and distribute supplies to patients as needed/requested.

Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate

  • Self-starter
  • Team-oriented
  • Flexible
  • Able to communicate effectively with individuals or diverse backgrounds and identities
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to learn new things, take direction and feedback; mature.

  • Interest in public health.

  • Excellent phone and person-to-person skills and ability to disseminate information and problem solve.

  • Ability to adhere to a flexible schedule to accommodate weekend and evening clinic times is required. Previous customer service experience helpful, but not required.

  • A willingness to learn and immerse oneself in our work is important, as is patience – we cannot solve all problems, but having patience and knowing that ALL aspects of the member’s service DO impact our ability to provide the best service tour patients is vital! 

  • Adherence to HIPPA/patient privacy is paramount at all times, as is using universal precautions at all times.

Knowledge Required for the Position

  • 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.
  • Skilled in Microsoft Office software, (primarily Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams) and Google Documents. Strong computer and phone skills overall. Will be working with patients in person and on the phone.


  • 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.
  • The member independently plans and carries out the projects and selects the approaches and methods to be used in solving problems
  • 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
  • We also expect members to problem solve, use their training and resources with us, and be independent thinkers.


  • Member has to develop, analyze, or evaluate information before the service position can progress

Special Considerations

  • Personal vehicle required
  • Unusual service hours, involving evenings, weekends, or long shifts
  • Spanish language proficiency is NOT required, but very helpful!
  • We will strive to work with any member who is a great fit but may need flexibility due to childcare or other requirements - insofar as it does not block the member from adequately participating in service requirements.

Language Proficiency Requirements

  • Spanish language helpful but NOT required

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.