Patient Navigation and Integrative Medicine

Specialties Holistic


for immediate release

sonoma state university and the integrative medical clinic foundation to

offer first-of-it’s kind patient navigator certificate program

santa rosa, may 5, 2010: the non-profit arm of the integrative medical clinic of

santa rosa (imcsr), a bay area clinic that has provided sonoma county with an

integrative approach to health care since 2001, has teamed up with sonoma state

university to offer a patient navigator certificate program with an integrative health

specialty beginning in the fall of 2010. the role of a patient navigator is becoming more

prevalent in the health care system, especially in the area of oncology. from the

american cancer society to large hospitals, patient navigators are being employed to

help patients wend their way through the complexities of the health care maze,

understand their treatment options, access resources and advocate for themselves.

the new certificate program, offered by sonoma state university’s school of science and technology, the school of social sciences and the school of extended education along with the integrative medical clinic foundation, is the first navigation training in the country to focus on integrative medicine. this groundbreaking two-semester program will be mostly online, with monthly live meetings at sonoma state university and will include all of the basic aspects of patient navigation. in addition, an in-depth survey of alternative therapies will be presented and the integrative medicine approach will be emphasized as a crucial element of the healthcare landscape.

program director pam koppel, lcsw, who has been developing this program for over 5

years with her colleagues, helped to create and implement the role of the patient

navigator at the integrative medical clinic which has been utilized by the practitioner

team since it began meeting together 10 years ago. ms. koppel’s vision has long been to

see patient navigators placed in every physician’s office, to offer guidance when people

are diagnosed with a chronic or acute illness and have no idea where to begin accessing

the resources and support they need to face the challenges in front of them. this

program, which will place students in physician’s offices and clinics as a part of the

training, will be a first step towards making that vision a reality.

joining ms. koppel as instructors will be dr. ellen barnett, imcsr medical director and family practice physician and amy schiff,, licensed acupuncturist, along with many guest instructors from the field of integrative medicine.

ceus available for lcsw, rn, lvn, (pending)

for more information or to apply for the program, visit the website at, or call pam koppel at 707-284-9235.

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