The most prestigious award in the profession of patient advocacy, and in particular, independent, private patient advocacy is awarded this time each year to the person who best exemplifies the tenets of the award.
Drum roll please!
On behalf of the judges and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates we are proud to announce this year’s H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award winner is Karen Mercereau of Tucson, Arizona!
I expect most readers of this blog know at least a little about Karen – and truthfully – there is so much substance to her advocacy work, and as a leader in our profession, that it requires only a little knowledge about her to understand why she was the overwhelming choice of this year’s judges.
(As an aside, you should also know that Karen’s application had to hold up against the toughest competition we’ve seen since we began conferring the award in 2011. It was a year of excellence in applications.)
Let’s look at what made Karen this year’s winner. Uniquely, the Schueler Award criteria are based on exactly who Ken Schueler was, as both a human being, and as an advocate. Specifically the criteria are:
- personalized approach to working with clients and other professionals
- integrative choices as a complement to traditional medicine
- evidence-based proof for options that exist for clients
- ethical performance and
- leadership / mentorship of other advocates
So how did Karen live up to these ideals? First and foremost, Karen has been helping individuals with their journeys through the healthcare system for decades, first as a nurse, and more recently, 14 years as a patient advocate.
In addition, and the way many know her, she is the founder and leader of the iRNPA program (Independent, RN – nurse – Patient Advocates), a program from which dozens of advocates have graduated, then become private advocates in their own rights. Her knowledge, and ability to help her clients understand both evidence-based traditional and integrative medicine is respected by the many doctors and other providers who seek her out for her knowledge, particularly in the field of functional medicine.
Ken Schueler would have been so pleased with our choice. Please join me in thanking this year’s judges – the winners of previous year Schueler Awards, plus Ken’s remarkable daughter, Alexandra, too.
Then congratulate Karen on her excellent work with her clients and advocates – and for winning the 2016 Schueler Compass Award.
Will you be next year’s winner?