Promoting Socially Just Healthcare Systems: Social Work’s Contribution to Patient Navigation (1 credit hour)

Program Summary:  This course examines patient navigation, a new practice in healthcare designed to help patients navigate complex healthcare systems and overcome treatment barriers.  The course promotes patient navigation as a way for social workers to pursue their professional mandate for social justice while also contending that social workers are uniquely qualified to serve as patient navigators due to their professional commitment to social justice and dignity and worth of all persons.

This course is recommended for social workers and is appropriate for beginning,  intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  This course is not recommended for NBCC credit.

Course Reading:  Promoting Socially Just Healthcare Systems:  Social Work’s Contribution to Patient Navigation

Authors:  Patricia Louise Desrosiers, Gayle Mallinger, Tonya Bragg-Underwood

Publication:  Advances in Social Work

Find the reading at:

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to the promotion of socially just health care systems through patient navigation.

Learning Objectives:  Identify the benefits of patient navigation.  Compare patient navigator requirements with social work competencies.   Describe the unique qualifications that social workers bring to patient navigation.

Value: Social Justice  Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.   Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.  from the NASW Code of Ethics

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: Patient navigation is an emerging area of
2: The genesis of patient navigation revolved around
3: Social workers are ethically mandated to realize the value of
4: What law requires patient navigators to facilitate involvement of community organizations to enhance access and decrease barriers to quality healthcare, as well as to provide outreach to vulnerable groups?
5: Parker and colleagues categorized tasks for navigators including which of the following?
6: Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental social justice is
7: Engage diversity and difference in practice is a
8: According to Freeman's nine principles and standards of patient navigation, "patient navigation is a __________-centered health care service delivery model."
9: According to Table 2 on page 193, integration of a fragmented system of care is included in
10: In the US healthcare context, who is currently functioning in the role of patient navigator?
11: Freeman's model relies on nine principles that focus on
12: What is the first phase of Esparat et al's (2012) Transformation for Health Framework?
13: The individual's motivation system is activated in which phase of Esparat et al's (2012) Transformation for Health Framework?
14: Social work skill levels include competencies in

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Free State Social Work, LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1 continuing education credit.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.