Assessing the Impact of a Palliative Care Health Navigator for Patients Experiencing Homelessness

People experiencing homelessness are at increased risk for illness and mortality and face significant systemic barriers to receiving good palliative care at the end of life. This study by Robinson and colleagues (2022) sought to quantify the impact of a health navigator on the delivery of palliative care to patients experiencing homelessness through the Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) Program in Toronto. The authors identified five key areas of the health navigator role including (1) facilitating access, (2) coordinating care, (3) addressing social determinants of health, (4) advocating for patients, and (5) counselling patients and loved ones. The authors concluded that incorporating a professional health navigator into community-based palliative care teams improves access to care for structurally vulnerable populations. Read more…