Native Patient Navigator Training

Training Introduction


Patient Navigation Resource Center

Cancer care is fragmented, requiring cancer patients to receive services from multiple facilities as well as within diverse departments and centers of the cancer center. Patient Navigators provide continuity in the midst of such fragmentation. A Native Patient Navigator (NPN) is a trusted member of the local American Indian / Alaska Native (AI/AN) community who is trained to work directly with individuals to facilitate timely access to healthcare by eliminating or navigating barriers that may impede care. NPNs begin by providing outreach and education but continue providing support throughout the cancer continuum (outreach through end-of-life). Their work usually begins working with an individual in the community but continues as they cross the threshold of the clinic to work with the patient and other members of the healthcare team in the clinical setting. Although NPNs provide support and help throughout the cancer continuum, they do NOT provide medical advice. 
Native American Cancer Research Corporation (NACR) initiated the first AI NPN program in 1994 and has been conducting NPN training since 1995. NACR conducts an average of four 2.5-day trainings each year. 

  • These trainings are offered by Native American Cancer Research Corporation (NACR), 303-550-5181 or cell: 720-987-8944.
  • The duration for most in-person trainings is 2.5 days for variable Native Patient Navigation topics.  
  • Locations vary for each training.
  • The Registration fee is $575 per participant.
  • All participants need to support their own travel and lodging expenses. 
  • Email registration forms to LindaB@NatAmCancer.net and LisaH@NatAmCancer.org
  • Mail payments Native American Cancer Research Corporation (NACR), 3022 South Nova Road, Pine, CO 80470-7830.
  • Certificates for hours completed are mailed to participants within 2 weeks of completing the training.
  • Space is limited for a maximum of 18 participants each training (i.e., Registration closes once 18 people are registered). A waiting list will be maintained in case there are cancellations.
  • NOTE:  If there are fewer than 10 registrants for any session, the training(s) may be cancelled.

Upcoming Trainings


Due to covid-19, all spring and summer trainings will be conducted as interactive webinars (gototraining.com).  
Contact Linda B or Lisa Harjo (LindaB@NatAmCancer.net and LisaH@NatAmCancer.org)to coordinate Native Patient Navigation training topics and schedules.

View the training schedule

Overview of Native PN


  • PN Definitions & Roles (45mins)
  • PN Navigating HC system in and out of Indian Country (45mins)
  • PN & Cancer Continuum (45mins)
  • PN Collaborating with HC Team (30mins)
  • PN Safety (90mins)
  • PN Resources & Resource Guide (45mins)


  • AI / AN history and impact on perceptions and healthcare (45mins)
    • Optional: historical trauma (40min)
    • Optional: AI sterilization (30min)
    • Optional: Havasupai (30min)
  • Cultural competency with AI/AN settings (45mins)


  • Needs assessments (30mins) 
  • Patient's goals and preferences (30mins) 
  • Survivorship care plans (60mins) 
  • Stress / distress (30mins) 
  • Quality of life (30mins) 
  • Fatigue (30mins) 
  • Pain (30mins) 


  • PN helping patient identify goals, concerns & questions to share with HC team (30mins)
  • Emotionally challenging situations
  • Advanced directives (90mins)
  • Final legal will and testament (with legal representative) (30mins)
  • Tribal will and inheritance policies versus non-Native assumptions (40mins)


  • Informing through tribal newsletters, papers, radio, TV, PSA, or short articles (45mins)
  • How to advertise (45mins)
  • How to write information articles (Indian Country Today, tribal newspaper) (45mins)
  • Participant recruitment strategies (45mins)
  • Outreach at community events: Do's & Don'ts (45mins)
  • Exhibit booth protocol (PowWow, health fair) (45mins)
  • I/T/U Protocols for promotional products (30mins)
  • Critique of informational videos, digital stories in waiting rooms (40mins)


  • Basic verbal, vocal and non-verbal (60mins)
  • Elevator speeches (30min; participant activity next day for 20mins)
  • Motivational inerviewing (conducted with specialists from the PN training collaborative only) (6hours)
  • AI/AN communication patterns & culture (45mins)
  • Common AI/AN patient-provider / family issues (75mins)
  • Resolving conflict, avoiding common AI/AN miscommunication (45mins)
  • I-messages: learning how to ask questions that the AI/AN patient desires and the non-native provider can understand (45mins)


  • Messages (phrasing) (40mins)
  • Media (format) (40mins)
  • Settings (venue) (40mins)
  • Creating culturally appropriate products for local AI/AN community (40mins)
  • Literacy (40mins)


  • Forms for evaluating PN actions (60mins)
  • Evaluation strategies: do's and dont's (40mins)
  • How to write effective knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy and behavior questions (45mins)
  • Using Audience Response Systems (ARS) (60mins)
  • How to write and use effective qualitative questions & responses (30mins)
  • Forms and skills evaluating PN work one-on-one (45mins)
  • Forms & skills evaluating PN work with small groups (45mins)
  • Forms & skills evaluating PN work with family (45mins)


  • Native Cancer 100 (overview of cancer) (50mins)
    • Native Cancer 100 optional excerpt genes and cancer (25mins)
  • Native Cancer 101 (diagnosing & staging) (60mins)
  • Native Cancer 102 (treatments) (60mins)
  • Keep tobacco sacred (90mins)


  • SoE Native Cancer 101 Module 4 (role of genes in cancer) (60mins)
  • SoE Native Cancer 101 Module 8 (specimens & biobanks) (90mins)
  • SoE Native Cancer 101 Module 9 (chronic conditions, co-morbidities & cancer) (90mins)
  • SoE Native Cancer 101 Module 10 (screenable cancers combined) (120mins)


  • Get on the path to breast health (90mins)
  • Get on the path to cervical health (90mins)
  • Get on the path to colorectal health (90mins)
  • Get on the path to lung health (90mins)
  • Get on the path to prostate health (90mins)


  • Brain (60mins)
  • Endometrial (60mins)
  • Lymphoma (90mins)
  • Gynecological (60mins)
  • Multiple Myeloma (90mins)
  • Pancreatic (90mins)
  • Kidney (60mins)
  • Stomach (60mins)
  • Adult Leukemia (60mins)
Legend of Competency Domains:
I. Domain: Ethical, cultural, legal, and professional issues II. Domain: Client and care team interaction and communication skills III. Domain: Health Knowledge IV. Domain: Patient care coordination V. Domain: Practice-based learning VI. Domain: Systems-based learning VII. Domain: Communication / interpersonal skills