Community Health Navigators to Decrease Disparity in Hypertension Control for African Americans


Grantee: Harborview Medical Center
Timeframe: July 2019 – June 2022 | Total Amount: $512,882

Year 1: July 2019 – June 2020. Amount: $172,882
Year 2: July 2020 – June 2021. Amount: $175,000
Year 3: July 2021 – June 2022. Amount: $165,000


Harborview Medical Center will develop a pilot patient navigation program for African Americans with hypertension, informed and designed in collaboration with community members.

Harborview has experience with developing and sustaining programs using a Navigation/Educator/Coach model to improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations; specifically, Spanish and Somali speaking patients with diabetes demonstrated positive qualitative and quantitative health outcomes.  African American populations may similarly benefit from a navigation based program, but have different barriers to health care that must be better understood locally before designing a program to address them.

Goals for the pilot:

  • Listen to African American patients, specifically Black, English speaking, non-African born patients attending Harborview, to better understand their experiences accessing health care and other community health supports, and their experience of hypertension.
  • Develop a pilot patient navigation program for African American patients with uncontrolled blood pressure at Harborview in the Adult Medicine Clinic.
  • Improve access to health care and blood pressure control, as well as patient engagement, and satisfaction with health care, and provider awareness of barriers.

Harborview Medical Center will establish and build upon long-term relationships and create a program that is sustainable and scalable to support the larger Harborview, UW and King County African American population longitudinally.

Based upon community input Harborview will develop a patient navigation program that attempts to address barriers and capitalizes on strengths in the community for supporting health. Harborview will hire and train two peer navigators, who are members of the African American community, building upon the expertise of the prior Harborview navigation program for non-English speaking patients, the community partner AARTH, and the nursing team in the Adult Medicine Clinic. The two peer navigators will educate and coach select patients (20-25 per navigator) with high blood pressure from the Adult Medicine Clinic at Harborview. All patients enrolled in the navigation program will be interviewed, using motivational interviewing techniques, to elicit their experience or story of health, including specifics related to high blood pressure. Harborview will use this patient reporting, in addition to the focus group information, to additionally inform the peer navigation program development.


About Our Grantee

Harborview Medical Center

Harborview Medical Center is the only designated Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma and burn center in the state of Washington and serves as the regional trauma and burn referral center for Alaska, Montana and Idaho. UW Medicine physicians and staff based at Harborview provide highly specialized services for vascular, orthopedics, neurosciences, ophthalmology, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS and complex critical care. Harborview has a specific mission to care for the community’s most vulnerable patients.

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