You may have heard the term patient advocate… You may even know someone who has benefitted from the services of an independent patient advocate. However, you—like most people—are probably still unclear as to what they actually do and how to find one.
People frequently reach out to me asking for clarification about the services I provide. In order to further define the value of this growing profession, I’ll offer the following explanation of my role as an independent patient advocate in the hopes that it brings clarity to anyone considering obtaining additional support for themselves or a loved one.
Although I hold a board certification for private patient advocacy, I have found that a more accurate explanation of the services that I provide is in alignment with those of a professional health consultant. What do I mean by that? Well, allow me to explain.
The most common definition of an “advocate” is a person ( such as a lawyer), who works and argues in support of another’s cause, particularly in court.
This (^) definition is the one most people think of when they hear the word advocate. However, it routinely conjures up connotations of an adversarial relationship or situation.
As a private patient advocate, I am not typically arguing on behalf of another. Quite the contrary actually.
As an expert in the subject matter of cancer, I—like an advocate—provide professional counsel. My goal is for you to gain the clarity you need to make decisions about your care with confidence and to achieve your desired outcomes. I work with you and your healthcare team to facilitate your goals. Our relationship is more like a collaboration than an adversarial situation.
What do I mean by this? Well, most of us have the intellect to sell our own house, manage our investments, or even engage with the legal system without the assistance of counsel. However, what we lack is the specific depth of experience, training, insights, and knowledge of the subject matter we are navigating. Because we have a desire to maximize our outcomes, we generally hire “consultants” in these areas.
The complexity of our healthcare system, coupled with a difficult diagnosis, should elicit the same desire to seek a subject matter expert to guide and support us in our healthcare decision-making.
So with that said…
How does independent health consultants/advocates help you maximize outcomes?
- I bring 25 years of experience working with cancer centers, researchers, and biotech professionals, which means you gain unique insights
- My extensive network of physicians, researchers, and contacts within centers of excellence provides you with access to a deep well of expertise
- I bring the subject matter expertise within oncology, (the study and treatment of cancer) necessary to ensure your support “team” maximizes their skillset and valuable time is not wasted on a steep learning curve
When to hire an independent health consultant/ advocate?
- When you lack a deep knowledge, insight, or understanding of your diagnosis
- When you are unsure of how to go about engaging the expertise needed to treat it
- The beginning of your journey is the most critical time, as you assemble the “right” healthcare team and plan for your situation
- When your desire is to maximize your outcome
How to find an independent patient advocate/health consultant?
You can find an independent patient advocate/ healthcare consultant using the directory link below or if you’d like to learn more about how I can specifically help you with a cancer diagnosis please contact me at cancer champions for a complimentary get-acquainted call.