Patient Support Specialist- Mobile Medical Unit - August 2023

Position Status

Full

Site

Pittsburgh

NHC Position Type

Patient Navigator

Position Summary

In addition to the primary care, mental health, Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT), dental, OB/GYN, and case management services offered at Squirrel Hill Health Center, we also operate a mobile medical unit, which is used to bring primary care to serve area residents for whom getting to the doctor’s office is a barrier to care. Working in collaboration with community partner agencies, the mobile unit typically goes out approximately 20 hours per week.  The AmeriCorps member will be a key member of the Mobile Unit team, providing the same set of comprehensive and culturally competent set of services patients receive at the office.  Many of the patients seen on the mobile unit need assistance while on the mobile unit; the member will directly serve patients in need of care coordination and navigation and will also serve at the liaison between the care team and the patient. In general, the member will enhance and expand service offerings to our patients.

The mobile unit brings the primary care office to adults with serious and persistent mental illness receiving behavioral health care at Milestone Community Mental Health Center’s sites; individuals living in the Coraopolis neighborhood; refugees living in an isolated apartment complex in the Prospect Park community where there is not accessible health care, individuals living in the Duquesne and Millvale neighborhoods, and clients at Tadiso Inc Methadone Clinic.  In each case, SHHC works with the collaborating agency at the location to coordinate appointments and ensure appropriate follow up and access to care.  

The member will be directly responsible for meeting with Mobile Unit patients and coordinating their care. The member will also be a main point of communication for the Mobile Unit team, which includes primary care providers and other SHHC staff.

The NHC member will be the point person in coordinating services so that patients seen on the mobile unit receive the full benefit of SHHC’s coordinated, patient centered care. In providing vital care navigation services to the mobile unit patients, the NHC member will enhance access to health care for a critically underserved portion of our patient population, working directly with patients to enhance their health care and quality of life, as well as serving as an integral part of SHHC’s service team. The member may stay an integral part of our community-based vaccination team as this is still an on-going initiative of our mobile team as there continues to be a need for community based vaccination efforts.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • 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
  • Evaluating referral charts and obtaining reports
  • Member will also meet monthly with leadership to discuss Mobile Unit workflows and partnerships, and to share new ideas for Mobile Unit programs.

Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate

  • Team-oriented
  • Flexible
  • Comfort speaking with others, individually or in groups
  • Able to communicate effectively with individuals or diverse backgrounds and identities
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • An ideal SHHC HealthCorps member will be a highly motivated individual who takes initiative and works well independently. Flexibility is a must. Member must be patient and a sense of humor is helpful to deal with the occasional challenges of working on the mobile unit and in shared workspace. A passion for working with underserved patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds is also an absolute requirement.

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

Supervision

  • 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.
  • Member and supervisor meet weekly and will discuss schedule for the following week. Supervisor is available outside of formal meeting times as well, but during meeting time will discuss each week's activities. 

Review

  • The Member independently plans and carries out the projects and selects the approaches and methods to be used in solving problems.
  • Member can reach out to supervisor as needed for daily problem solving, but after 90 days member will have taken on tasks independently (referrals, calling patients, etc).

Guidelines

  • Written and oral guides provide specific instructions for doing service.
  • Most instructions are easily memorized and require little interpretation.
  • Detailed guidelines exist, including regulations and directives, handbooks, precedents, industry standards and files of previous projects.
  • Policy and procedures are documented in employee manuals that are part of onboarding process at SHHC. For role specific instructions, most are easily memorized. Member will also have access to handbooks created by former members.

Complexity

  • Member has little or no choice about how to perform the service position
  • In making decisions, the member is often required to depart from past approaches and to extend traditional techniques
  • Member will be serving directly with patients. Certain functions of the position (scheduling internal appointments, Mobile Unit schedule) are connected to internal workflows and have specific guidelines/timeframes for the appointments. Other aspects of the position, such as helping patients navigate external referrals or missed appointments, will require the member to be both flexible and creative.

Special Considerations

  • Personal vehicle required
  • Vehicle is required to travel from SHHC office to/from Mobile Unit locations with daily supplies. Mileage is reimbursed for travel from office to Mobile Unit locations and back to SHHC office.

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.