The Boulevard Comprehensive Care Center, Jacksonville, FL

History

The Boulevard Comprehensive Care Center (BCC) acts as the infectious disease testing site for the Duval County Health Department. The BCC and its three satellite clinics serve over 4,000 clients in the greater Jacksonville, FL area, offering HIV and STI testing, counseling, and medical care. The BCC also has a mobile van clinic that provides care and testing throughout the area and at the satellite clinics. In 2006, the BCC established a Peer Navigator Program through Ryan White Part C funding, to provide continuity between the medical sites and connect clients to care. According to Lucy Wells, program director, their mission is to link and retain all newly diagnosed individuals to care and services.

Peer Roles and Responsibilities

If someone comes to our main site and they don't know who to talk to or what doctor to see, the peer navigators are there to help guide them through the process so that no one is overlooked.

At the BCC, peer navigators guide clients through each step of the process and act as the initial connection to care. When a person is diagnosed with HIV, peer navigators meet with the client to talk through concerns and assess their needs. Three peer navigators work 20 hours a week, serving over 300 clients through counseling, connecting clients to financial eligibility specialists and case managers, and making missed appointment calls. "If someone comes to our main site and they don't know who to talk to or what doctor to see, the peer navigators are there to help guide them through the process so that no one is overlooked," says Wells. Additionally, peer navigators facilitate BCC's monthly Consumer Advisory Board which allows clients to share their concerns and needs and to express any barriers to care that they experience. A large part of the peer navigators' role is to phone clients who have missed appointments and administer a "Barriers to Care" survey. "This is one of our major goals, because if we reduce that no-show rate, it means that our clients are getting in here and receiving health care on an on-going basis. That to us is success," remarks Wells.  Peer navigators split their time between the BCC during the day and the three satellite centers during the evening. According to Wells, the peer navigators are so committed to their clients that they volunteer additional time at the clinic.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Peer navigators administer assessments and surveys to determine clients' living and financial situation, health care needs, and specific barriers to care. Client surveys are scored and, based on these results, clients are connected to necessary services. Starting at diagnosis, clients are tracked to assure that they connect to care within 21 days. Wells monitors the type of services required by clients and the number of clients that are subsequently linked to these services. The Consumer Advisory Board also serves as a way to monitor and evaluate the peer navigator program and the clinics.

For more information about this program, contact Kiszzie Jones at kiszzie_jones@doh.state.fl.us.