The Patient Navigator

Are you travelling to Quebec City for health services? Are you looking for support while you are there? The patient navigator can accompany you while you are in Quebec City

What is a Patient Navigator?

The Patient Navigator is a position that was recently created through the work of the CHSSN (Community Health and Social Services Network) and the local Networking Partnership Initiatives of Eastern Quebec. The Patient Navigator position stems from the launch of the travel4health.ca website and the associated hard-copy travel toolkits (available from local community organizations), instruments that were put in place for Anglophone residents of the Eastern regions of the province - Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-St-Laurent, Côte-Nord - who are forced to travel to larger metropolitan centres to receive specialized medical services.

The website and toolkits act as measures of reassurance for patients unfamiliar with the cities they are travelling to, providing detailed information regarding these often stressful visits (preparation, transportation support, hospital information, projected costs and refunds, lodging, financial assistance, checklists, patient rights and needs, packing lists, as well as numerous other helpful tips). Further, they also act as remedies to the common problem of many patients not being sufficiently bilingual enough to communicate effectively with hospital staff and more importantly especially to understand the crucial medical terminology.

The Patient Navigator will be the point person on the ground providing in-person support to English-speaking patients and their accompaniers travelling to Quebec City for specialized health care services, assisting them in navigating the different steps in the care pathway as well as the informational, emotional, logistical challenges the experience presents. This person links patient to existing services, as needed, facilitating access for patients and communications with health care staff, and works directly with different partners of the Quebec City health system.

Always having an open ear, friendly suggestions, and with a mandate to advocate for patient rights, the Patient Navigator also provides a lay of the city’s unique physical and cultural landscapes.

The Patient Navigator Duties Include

Providing information to patients and their loved ones (family, friends, community organizations) via website and toolkits (www.travel4health.ca and other)
Providing information to health care providers, via website (www.travel4health.ca) and toolkits
Assisting with logistics, as needed, for example: arrival, orientation in the city and in the hospital, lodging (for patients and /or caregivers), visits, and possibly translation
Facilitating service provision, for example by ensuring good communication between health care providers and patients, by supporting the translation of documents, by providing cultural context for care providers, by flagging issues that arise in the different institutions, and more
Providing support as needed to help deal with loneliness, fear and other feelings raised by health care situations (active listening and refer elsewhere, if needed)
Standing in for family escorts before they arrive so that vulnerable patients and unilingual persons are not left alone (unaccompanied)
Updating website regularly, and maintain publicity regarding available services
Developing and supporting a group of volunteers to assist with these tasks

Who is Quebec City’s  Patient Navigator?

Steve Guimond was born in Chicoutimi, Québec, and has spent all but two years of his life living in the province. Born from parents whose lineage was split equally between French and English-speaking ancestry, Steve and his family arrived in Quebec City four years ago from Montreal, after his wife was hired for a professorship at Université de Laval.

Father to two young children, Steve is blessed with patience, maturity and an open ear, all the while not afraid to speak up for himself or for others. He looks forward to the new challenges and rewards the patient navigator position will bring, eager to greet and aid his first client.
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