The ACTIVATE initiative, a collaboration among the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, the Center for Patient Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and UW Health's American Family Children’s Hospital, aspires to promote child health and development equity across the state through strategic partnerships between community organizations and academic entities.

These partnerships leverage each member's assets, bring momentum to each individual group's existing work, promote cross-system communication and collaboration and refine child health advocacy training for current and future health care delivery and support professionals. This project is funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program.

Position details

The Resource Navigation Program (RNP) begins at the clinical point of service with undergraduate student resource navigators screening families about root factors affecting their health such access to food, child care, housing or income supports. Navigators then follow up with patients to elaborate on findings from the screening and develop a plan for addressing unmet needs that undermine both short- and long-term needs.

Navigators use a capacity-building approach, partnering with patients to prioritize action to address systemic barriers to health through connections to community resources. For example, navigators might connect patients with transportation to vital appointments, assist them to find suitable housing or assure adequate access to healthy food. Navigators stationed in identified clinics are primarily advanced undergraduate pre-health students at UW-Madison.

Goals include:

  • Increased provider understanding of patients' broader health needs
  • Improved communication with patients about treatment recommendations requiring action at home and more comprehensive, feasible plans for improved health
  • Capturing patients’ own perspective on systemic issues that impact their health and how those are being addressed by the Resource Navigation Program

This project is modeled after Health Leads.

The person in this field work intern positon will be actively engaged in program implementation and refinement, with primary responsibility for resource navigator oversight, coordination and ongoing training. All activities will involve extensive engagement directly with students, patients, clinical providers and administration. Most of the person’s time will be spent at clinic site(s) providing direct supervision and support to the resource navigators.

Additional activities may include:

  • Assisting with grant proposals
  • Coordination of education events
  • Publicizing project activities through traditional and social media channels, grassroots methods and other creative means

Ideal student qualifications

  • Experience coordinating service learning experiences, volunteers, or supervising staff
  • Understanding of, and interest in, health clinic practices, particularly in innovations to shift the focus of treatment toward health promotion
  • Understanding of the impact of social determinants on health outcomes and health disparities
  • Strong understanding and/or experience with individual or system level advocacy, and/or health policy issues

Additional desirable skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Process improvement
  • Management
  • Coordination
  • Training/education
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis