Peer Health Navigator Certificate

Program Overview

Learn about health navigation and the skills required to effectively navigate health care systems as a non-regulated health care professional.

*Please note there are other terms used by employers, workplaces, or the industry that may overlap with the Peer Health Navigator role, including Lay Navigator, Community Health Worker, Hospital Support Aide, and others.  

The Peer Health Navigator Certificate provides an opportunity to explore the possibilities in patient/healthcare navigation as non-regulated healthcare professional. In this program, you will learn the skills required to provide support for clients/patients and families, work in collaboration with other members of the healthcare team, and connect to health care and community resources.

You will learn about the history of patient navigation and how these roles have been developed to integrate into healthcare teams in the community, long-term care and hospital care. Understand how these roles can be applied to all types of patient/healthcare situations, including pediatrics, oncology, surgery, mental health and seniors’ care.

The Peer Health Navigator Certificate is designed to be practical and applicable to current clinical settings. The program will be delivered online through live webcasts, and will be geared for adult learners through case examples and interactive discussions.

What is a Peer Health Navigator? - In this video Dr. Rosemary Kohr, Program Director of our Peer Health Navigator Certificate defines the role of Peer Health Navigator (also known as Lay Navigator, Hospital Support Aide,etc)

How Will You Benefit:

  • This program will empower you to help patients and their caregivers/family members in developing better skills of self-management when confronted with healthcare issues.
  • You will develop the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively as a lay navigator, such as communication strategies to use with patients and their families, and members of the healthcare team.
  • You will identify strategies to connect to healthcare and community resources.
  • You will have a good understanding of the scope of the lay navigator role. through engaging in discussions around ethics, confidentiality and communicating interactions with patients/families and members of the healthcare team.
  • You have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion at the end of the program, on successful completion of all mandatory requirements

What Will You Learn:

By the end of the program, you will be able to

  • Understand the scope of the peer health navigator role and where this function can be most effective.
  • Identify, assess, and support patients and families in the course of their healthcare journey.
  • Develop appropriate communication skills for interactions with patients, families and other members of the healthcare team.
  • Identify opportunities for peer health navigator roles across the continuum of care.

Who Should Take This Program:

The Peer Health Navigator Certificate is designed for individuals who have a background/experience in healthcare but are not regulated health care professionals. The program would be of benefit to individuals who want to use their experience and community knowledge to work or volunteer within the healthcare system. Examples include:

  • Personal support workers, community health workers, peer outreach workers etc.
  • Chronic disease survivor or caregiver
  • Retired healthcare professional
  • Individuals with health care volunteer experience

Prerequisites: There are no specific prerequisites for this program

Please note: Programs at the Health Leadership & Learning Network (HLLN) are offered in English. To register in our programs, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the language requirements. You may be asked to demonstrate language proficiency. Click on the link to learn more: English Language Requirements

NOTE: If you are a regulated health care professional, this program may not be suitable for you. We recommend that you take programs from our Patient Navigator Professional Certificate. 

Program Content

The program will cover topics such as:

Session 1
  • Introduction
  • History of the role
  • Role of the Peer Health Navigator
  • Scope of Practice
  • Stigma/chronicity
Session 2
  • Communication Skills
  • Teamwork/collaboration
Session 3
  • Cultural competence
  • Compassion Fatigue/Burnout



Rosemary Kohr, BA (Arts Plastiques), BScN, MScN, PhD

Tertiary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate, San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Certificate, RN
Tertiary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Profile photo of Rosemary Kohr in circle frame

Dr. Rosemary Kohr, PhD,

worked for nearly two decades as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and wound care specialist at the London Health Sciences Centre. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Western Ontario; taught in the graduate program, Centre of Nursing and Health Studies at Athabasca University for over a decade; and developed (in collaboration with Dr. Lori Teeple, MD) the Advanced Wound Life Saving (AWLS) accredited MainProC program for physicians. From 2015 to 2017, Dr. Kohr managed a research grant on Healthy Aging through the University of New Brunswick. She is currently a Registered Nurse in Ontario,  and a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO).

She has published and presented her work in international, national and local publications and conferences as well as providing educational and consultative support across Canada. For five years, she provided monthly clinical "Wound Care Rounds" through the Ontario Telemedicine Network. She is the Canadian editor/author of the chapter on Skin and Wound Management in Fundamentals of Nursing (Potter & Perry Canadian Edition). Her work appears in Lives in the balance: Nurses' stories from the ICU, edited by Tilda Shalof (Kaplan Press, 2009), as well as in international journals. She has a keen interest in Seniors' healthy aging, First Nations/indigenous healthcare, mental health, pain management, the dynamics of relationships and communication, and in the prevention and management of chronic wounds. Dissemination of information, knowledge transfer and uptake in the clinical environment using innovative approaches and electronic technology are fundamental to her work.

Dr. Kohr's clinical research includes evaluation of implementation of best practice guidelines, pain management, wound care and collaborative practice. She has received research grants as well as academic scholarships, and has collaborated on writing a number of successful government grant applications.

For over a decade, Dr. Kohr has provided education and consultation focused in the clinical reality of today’s healthcare environment, through Kohr Consulting ( She is the former President of the Canadian Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (CAAPN), and a founding member of the Ontario Wound Interest Group (OntWIG). Dr. Kohr is the Program Director, Wound Care Institute and Program Director, Patient and Peer Health Navigator Certificate program with York University Health Leadership and Learning Network (HLLN), and has developed and taught workshops through HLLN for over 5 years.

Certificate of Completion

Certificate of Completion

At the end of the program, you will earn a certificate of completion.

Certificates are issued approximately three to four weeks after the end of the program, as long as you have:

  • Attended all sessions
  • Completed and passed all assignments and assessments, as they may be assigned during the program

Please note, you must complete and submit your assignments and assessments before the program end date.

For more information, please review our Program Policies & Disclaimer.