This week, March 20 to 26, 2016 marks our 6th Annual Private Professional Patient Advocates Week, and as predicted last year, yes – our profession is growing marvelously!
Last year we did a recap of the history of the profession. This year we’re going to provide some updates and some food for thought.
A New Website for This Year’s Celebration
For 2016, we’ve updated our PPPAW website, putting far more emphasis on our featured advocates, and introducing to the public the winner of this year’s Schueler Award, Karen Mercereau, too.
Good looking group, right? Our 12 featured professional patient advocates hail from across the United States, and provide a wide variety of advocacy services to clients every day. Meet our featured advocates.
Some Updated Statistics
- In 2015 we reported 550 APHA members. This year we’ve grown to 620+ members! (Numbers change every day.)
- APHA Members now represent 41 states and 2 Canadian provinces, with international members hailing from Australia, Brazil, England, Ireland, Israel, the Philippines, and Spain.
- We have added three new services to our master list of services being provided by members.
- The AdvoConnection Directory has now been viewed by 169,876 people, up from 143,000+ last year, with our highest number of unique visits in January 2016 (6,172), and at an average of 141 per day in the past year. That’s 141 people looking for an advocate, so if you aren’t in the directory – you need to be. People are looking for you!
- Our members have been mentioned, quoted and featured in dozens of media – you can see the master list here.
News Since Last Year’s PPPAW
This past year has been defined by growth, investment and some growing pains, too. Of the 12 websites associated with APHA (and PPPAW), we have rebuilt 10 of them, and are in the process of rebuilding the last two. That’s a lot of investment in the profession’s growth – serving our clients (you the advocate) in order to serve the patients who need you.
This includes the move to our new APHA Connect! Forum – a shift from our old Forum at Linked In where they weren’t very friendly to us (changing the rules of engagement late last year) – but with the benefit of forcing our move into a much more robust and flexible tool for APHA members who want to network, discuss, and connect with each other.
Our biggest – and still ongoing – project is the rebuild of the membership area of the APHA Members website. We first mentioned this in our January 2016 update. The work is incredibly detailed and has required so much more effort than we expected. That, and the fact that many of our websites were hacked in February (causing a one month clean up project) – will delay the roll out of the new member site to sometime in the summer.
Coming in the Next Year
So – donning my prognosticator’s hat… as big a year as this past one has been, the next one will be even more so.
The PACB (Patient Advocate Certification Board) predicts it will complete its work, and begin certifying advocates sometime in 2017. That information was shared during our early March 2016 APHA Expert Call-in. (If you weren’t able to join us, the podcast is available to members. Log into your dashboard, then link to the post-call resources page.)
APHA will continue to grow – perhaps as much as 25 or 30% – the more the merrier, or more importantly, the more successful advocates we have, the more patients are getting the help they need.
The Most Important Message of All
…. is that I’m impressed daily, and sometimes emotionally overwhelmed, by the skills, talents, personalities, passion, and kindness of private patient advocates who invest themselves so profoundly in this wonderful profession. (I’m talking about you!)
As we recognize Private Professional Patient Advocates Week during this coming week, I ask you to help spread the word. See those share buttons below? Use them please! Share the message of the good work you and other advocates are doing. Talk about the profession. Realize how many more patients will benefit from finding advocates to hold their hands and help them find improved outcomes from the healthcare system. Take pride in your association, no matter what level your investment….
We’ll be right back here in 2017, still celebrating – with great pride in our role of supporting YOU.