Center for Patient Partnerships Remains Open, Remotely

April 13, 2020

Like in most offices, the lights at the Center for Patient Partnerships remain dark, but we are very much at work. In home offices and at kitchen tables, our UW-Madison students and staff continue working with clients facing serious illness and our primary care-based navigator clients facing increased challenges in the midst of COVID-19. Our research also continues, placing patient experience at the center of the health care story.


In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, it is even more important to get help navigating the complex path to medical care, insurance and disability coverage, clinical trials, and specialized treatments. We have quickly adapted to remote technology – a student, faculty member, client, and social security representative were able to determine that our client had indeed qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to his cancer diagnosis.  “This is the best news I’ve had in 5 years!”  In our Navigator program, our Americorps workers and advanced students are holding our 638 clients and continue to support new clients remotely at the consolidated Wingra clinic. 


Our students and faculty are showing up for our clients and each other.  We are partnering with other nonprofits that are on the front lines of supporting people hit hardest by the pandemic.  We are working to adapt our action research portfolio to learn directly from patients about their care experiences during this historically unprecedented time.  And we are planning beyond this horizon for the time when thousands of people will face daunting medical bills in the aftermath of this crisis. Our students will be ready.


As we move through the next days and weeks, we keep our students, our clients, and our communities in our minds and hearts.


We are especially grateful to our colleagues and partners in health care, whose commitment to caring for patients places them and their families at extended risk. 


At a systems level, we are deeply concerned about the ways this pandemic will exacerbate inequities faced every day by many of our clients. At the individual level, we encourage you to help where you can by checking in on elderly or isolated neighbors in a social distancing way, and, if you can, by donating to organizations offering food, medical supplies, and housing support.


Our advocacy line remains open, and although our staff and students are also juggling multiple obligations, rest assured we are continuing with our work.  See our services webpage for more information.  


We are thinking of you, wherever you are. Be safe.

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