Cultural navigators are a bridge to care

Providence Swedish’s Cultural Navigation Program focuses on improving access to care to underserved communities, including those who identify as BIPOC, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, LGBTQI+, unhoused, uninsured or underinsured. 

Providence Swedish is home to a multi-lingual and diverse team of cultural navigators who are dedicated to removing cultural and language barriers to care for every patient we serve. Since its inception in 2020, Providence Swedish’s Cultural Navigation Program has focused on improving access to care to underserved communities, including those who identify as BIPOC, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, LGBTQI+, unhoused, uninsured or underinsured. 

Supported by Providence’s health equity initiative, navigators bring many skills to the mission of dismantling barriers to health care access and building trust in our health care and social service systems. In addition to serving our patients in their native languages, cultural navigators work with many social determinants of health including helping patients learn about financial assistance and helping with appointment scheduling and prescriptions, health insurance enrollment and more. 

They are also on the ground in our communities, bringing connection and services where they are most needed. In 2023 alone, the program served more than 955 patients with identified language or cultural barriers, co-hosted five mobile mammogram events, served more than 1,100 neighbors at community events, and attended more than 35 community health events to support vaccination and screening efforts. 

“The hard work of our cultural navigators has really blossomed into organic relationships within the community,” said Jesus Elizalde-Lindgren, director of Health Equity for Providence Swedish, North Division. “Look like me, sound like me, understand me. These are all components that are important to the services we provide.” 

Check out more stories about the work that Providence cultural navigators do in other regions. 

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