St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children’s Patient Navigation Program Receives Two Significant Grants

United Hospital Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities award generous grants to support long-term advocacy for patient families

St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children is pleased to announce that it has received two grants to support the high-quality, family-centered work of its Patient Navigation Program, which is designed to help families overcome barriers to healthcare and related services for children with medically complex conditions. The United Hospital Fund and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area (RMHC-NYTSA) awarded grants of $35,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Caring for a child with medical complexity can present daunting challenges for parents and family members, who are often overwhelmed with the maze of regulatory agencies, service options, and programs. St. Mary’s Patient Navigation Program, which we believe to be the nation’s first for the medically complex pediatric population, provides long-term advocacy and assistance to families of patients at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, New York City’s only pediatric post-acute care facility.

Led by experienced program staff, the program consists of a team of highly-skilled volunteer Patient Navigators who undergo extensive training designed to help them guide caregivers through the complexities of the healthcare system and provide emotional support. Navigators provide referrals to healthcare services, schedule appointments, offer translation services and provide the stability of a long-term, single point of contact for any healthcare-related questions or uncertainties. In addition, the program works with parents to develop self-advocacy skills.

The United Hospital Fund provided grants to St. Mary’s and eight other organizations as part of its support for projects to improve healthcare services in New York. “As patient and family needs evolve, so does the healthcare system that serves them,” said Jim Tallon, President of the United Hospital Fund. “We have awarded these grants to organizations that have identified today’s needs, while envisioning and planning for tomorrow’s.”

“St. Mary’s Patient Navigation program is a valuable resource for families who need to manage an array of healthcare services for their children,” said Christopher Perry, Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area’s Executive Director. “In keeping with our organization’s Mission of supporting programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children, we are proud to provide support that will serve to enhance St. Mary’s excellent programming in service to its youngest clients.”

St. Mary’s continues to explore ways to strengthen the program and further expand its support to families in its Home and Community Programs.