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Therapeutic Patient Navigation: Filling the Gaps for Clients with Neurodegenerative Disorders

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“Most outcomes with regard to health programs or patient programs look to improve the patient’s health. With progressive illnesses like Huntington’s and Parkinson’s and such, there is no way to do that… The foundation of our relationship with the clients is the therapeutic relationship, so we base our most important goal on the therapeutic alliance. We want to make sure that the patient feels supported, that they feel heard, and that they feel like they have someone to walk through their health journey with.”

Kimberly Washington

In this episode, our guest Kimberly Washington of the St. Jude’s Project at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. discusses her “Therapeutic Patient Navigation” community-based project. She describes how this evidence-based intervention was developed to fill the gaps in services that support patients with Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Ande Nesmith, PhD, LISW, is an associate professor at the School of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas. Her research over the past twenty years has focused on vulnerable youth and young adults, including runaways, homeless youth, youth transitioning to adulthood, and youth in the child welfare system. Prior to St. Thomas, she conducted evaluations of foster care programs in her role as senior researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her newest area of research is environmental justice. As a professor, she teaches graduate and undergraduate social work students in research methodology and mentors students at all levels in independent original research projects.

Interviewer: Louanne Bakk, PhD

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