Personal Patient Navigators (PPNs)

Since its inception in 2020, the Center for Surgical Health has relied on a team of dedicated volunteer Personal Patient Navigators (PPNs) to help underserved and undersupported patients access surgical care in a timely and affordable way. When patients are referred to CSH, they are paired with a volunteer who functions as their PPN. PPNs assist patients by:

  • Helping them secure financial assistance

  • Supplying transportation vouchers

  • Arranging translation services

  • Escorting patients to tests & appointments

  • Helping patients identify resources to actively participate in surgical care

  • Staffing our subspecialty clinics, where patients are assessed for surgical needs


Currently, our PPNs are a group of passionate Perelman School of Medicine students and selected graduate students across the University of Pennsylvania campus, though we plan to broaden our recruitment pool over the coming months. As of September 2021, we have 68 active PPNs and are currently recruiting a new cohort who will start volunteering in the fall.​

About our PPNs and the rest of our CSH Team

Reasons our PPNs joined CSH

Why join CSH.png

31 individuals surveyed

Subspecialty where PPNs volunteer

15 PPNs surveyed

PPN desire for community service in career

31 individuals surveyed

What our PPNs say about CSH

"Working as a PPN has been the most rewarding part of medical school so far. I have been able to form a close relationship with the patient I PPN for and I am absolutely honored that I have been able to be a part of this person's experience in the hospital. I have gotten to know my patient's family and their story, and I am so, so grateful that CSH gave me the opportunity to be there for this patient during a very challenging time for them."