University Hospitals Introduces Women's Health Navigator

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UH OBGYN Update | December 2021

The University Hospitals Women’s Health Navigator serves as a liaison between patients and their health care needs to answer questions, identify resources, and provide support, education and guidance through every part of their health care journey. 

The benefits of patient navigation have been demonstrated in the area of cancer care, including gynecologic oncology; patient navigation has shown to increase access to screening, shorten time to diagnostic resolution, and improve cancer outcomes, particularly in health disparity populations. Due to the successes in cancer care at reducing disparities in health care access and health outcomes, patient navigation has the potential to improve care and reduce disparities in health care for women. 

Navigating a health concern and treatment can be intimidating, the goals of the Women’s Health Navigator involve identifying patient-level barriers to access, improving timeliness of care, providing health education, and offering social support.

The UH Women’s Health Navigator program aims to improve quality and patient experience by:

  • Providing women with a comprehensive approach to optimizing their health and wellness
  • Directing guidance for making health care decisions for themselves and their loved ones
  • Addressing health issues that commonly or disproportionately affect women of all ages

Introducing Lindsay Brown, CNP – Women’s Health Navigator – Parma

Lindsay Brown, CNP, Parma Nurse NavigatorLindsay Brown, CNP

In its initial phase, the UH Women’s Health Navigator program is available in the Parma region with Women’s Health Navigator, Lindsay Brown, CNP.  Lindsay has bachelors and master's degrees in nursing and is board-certified as a women's health nurse practitioner. In her role, Lindsay will continue to provide care for women of all ages, from first-time gynecological exams and contraception counseling to obstetric care, GYN problem visits, menopausal concerns and well woman exams, along with providing patient navigation.

A passionate caregiver with over 20 years of experience in women’s health, Lindsay believes women’s health navigation is important to empower women and optimize their health. “Our program offers specialized care to help women “navigate” the health system” says Lindsay. “These women are busy mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and friends, and often ignore or postpone their own needs for those of others.” The program provides an experienced specialist to explore and assess their own health needs from a comprehensive perspective and help them to find the care they need. “I am able to help them identify their needs to optimize their overall health and connect them with a variety of different specialists or primary care providers. Additionally, I follow-up with them to offer any assistance to help them complete their appointments or testing.”

In this past year of pandemic isolation, where many women have been physically and emotionally distanced from their sisters and friends, the connection to one's health care professionals is most vital. When so many people are turning to “Dr. Google," Lindsay is a friendly face and a comforting human alternative, a health care professional with decades of experience who can discuss patients’ most pressing questions, and help them navigate their health care – beyond their immediate OBGYN needs. “Checking Google is not always the best resource for health information," says Lindsay. “For those who make an appointment, I take the time to really listen and address their concerns. Many situations are complicated and difficult to figure out through researching online or just talking to your girlfriends. These are matters that involve complex relationships, and not just one person. Often we see smiles of relief at the end of the appointment."

As a Women’s Health Navigator, Lindsay develops relationships with her patients to provide resources to improve health care access, delivery, and outcomes in obstetrics and gynecology, and overall health by helping women negotiate complex or pivotal aspects of their care. “When patients don't know you ahead of time, they're trying to make a connection and feel comfortable and may be uncertain of how to bring up their concerns," says Lindsay. “They want to be reassured their voice matters, their concerns are important and that you will listen." Lindsay ensures that with her help patients do not have to work it out alone, she is by their side through their healthcare journey.  

Patients can participate in the Women’s Health Navigation via the online form, or be referred directly by their provider.

Patient referrals can be made in the Outpatient AEMR using “West Region Women's Health Navigator Referral.”

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