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Demand for Patient Advocates Grows as Health Care Systems Focus on Team-based Services

December 9, 2020

MCC will launch certificate program for spring 2021 in response to workforce needs

BRIGHTON, N.Y. – Changes to the federal Affordable Care Act have driven health care providers to rethink how they deliver patient services. As more health systems shift to a model that promotes preventative care and effective disease management over hospital admissions and costly medical procedures, the demand for patient advocates is projected to grow in the Finger Lakes region and the nation within the next eight years.

In response to the regional industry’s increased workforce needs, Monroe Community College will launch a Care Coordination  ̶  Community Health Navigation certificate program for spring 2021.

The program prepares learners to address patients’ needs using a team-based approach to wellness promotion, disease prevention and care coordination with patients, families, practitioners and communities. The topics covered include critical skills in health information technology, communication and health coaching as well as cultural sensitivity to effectively educate and empower patients. Participants gain an understanding of their local health care system, including community resources and services available to patients.

The region’s employers — including Rochester Regional Health, Lifetime Care, and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield — have reported a growing need for care coordinators with strong clinical skills and knowledge of community-based resources in health care. Employment of health educators and community health workers in the U.S. is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

MCC’s program will benefit current students, job seekers, career changers, and health care professionals seeking to build their credentials.

In addition to earning a certificate from MCC, program participants will become eligible to take an exam for industry certification in health and wellness coaching and have an opportunity to continue their studies toward a health studies degree at MCC.

Graduates can begin their careers as community health navigators, patient advocates, patient care managers and transition care managers. Opportunities in the job market seem favorable for qualified candidates who speak more than one language and understand the culture of the community they intend to serve.

The program, offered in spring 2021 through MCC’s Health and Physical Education Department at the Brighton Campus, is approved by the State University of New York and registered by New York State Education Department.

For more information about the program and/or to enroll, go to or call the Admissions office at (585) 292-2200. Deadline for spring registration is Jan. 19; classes begin Jan. 25.

Media Contact
Hency Yuen-Eng