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OJC Press Release ID: 2640

Monday, April 3, 2017

OJC’s Health Navigation program wins League for Innovation Riegelman Award

The Riegelman Awards for Excellence in Public Health & Health Navigation Education in Community Colleges were presented at the League's March 2017 Innovations Conference in San Francisco, California, to four community colleges that have demonstrated excellence in planning or enhancing associate degree or certificate programs in Public Health and Health Navigation education.

Otero Junior College received the Riegelman Award for its Community Health Worker Certificate and Associate of Applied Science degree with Health Navigator emphasis. Kaysie Schmidt, Faculty, Health Navigator Program, accepted the award on behalf of the college.

“We are honored to receive this award for innovation,” Schmidt said.  “Earning this award reflects the vision and leadership of the college and our partners in the region and state.  We are committed to transforming healthcare, improving outcomes and reducing costs.”

Schmidt also presented two sessions at the conference: Public Health Foundations in Health Navigator Education, presented with Peggy Honore, LSU Health New Orleans School Of Public Health and Meeting Community Needs for Careers in Public Health and Health Navigation, presented with Richard Riegelman, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University along with the other recipients of the award.

OJC’s Health Navigator program is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through the Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) Grants Program.  The program was established in 2012 in partnership with Southeast Health Group and Funding Opportunity CMS-1C1-12-0001 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

The Riegelman Awards are generously sponsored by Richard and Linda Riegelman and Jones & Bartlett Learning. In addition to letters of support from college administration, applicants for the Riegelman Award provided details such as the student population the program would serve, the current and projected need for program graduates, and the college’s experience and capacity to house and offer the program. Applications listed partnerships, advisory groups, and articulation options, and included curricular and student services overviews, budget and enrollment projections, and costs to students. Implementation and evaluation plans were also part of the nomination packet.

Other colleges receiving the award included Bakersfield College (CA) for its Associate Science Transfer degree in Public Health, Associate Science degree in Occupational Risk and Safety Management with a focus on Public Health, and Health Navigator/Health Educator certificate programs; Doña Ana Community College (NM) for its Health Navigator Program leading to the Associate of Public Health degree; and Queensborough Community College (NY) for its Associate of Science degree in Public Health.

About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 500 member colleges, 100 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available at

Press Release Photo
Diane McElroy, OJC’s director of Nursing and Allied Health Programs, Kaysie Schmidt, Health Navigator faculty, and Jim Rizzuto, OJC president, show off the Riegelman Award for Excellence in Public Health and Health Navigation Education in Community Colleges received from the League for Innovation.