How to Overcome the Biggest Challenge in Patient Advocacy Today

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A few weeks ago at the WASHAA Annual Meeting (Washington State Health Advocacy Association) I was asked my opinion on the biggest challenges in patient advocacy as we turn the corner to 2016.

I didn’t hesitate with my answer. I know exactly what those huge challenges are. So I shared my answer, which I’ll also share with you in a minute.

As an individual, your answers might be slightly different from the ones I see. You might consider your biggest challenges to be recognition of the profession by potential clients, the ability to get people to pay for your services, the juggling of business as well as your advocacy work, time management – or many others. (What DO you think are your biggest challenges?  Please comment to let us know.)

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2016 State of Patient Advocacy and the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates

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Greetings in this new year 2016!

I invite you to sit back, and picture yourself in that audience above as I provide you with a status report of sorts on the growth of the profession of patient advocacy as seen through the “eyes” of the AdvoConnection Directory, plus statistics from The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, and how APHA plans to double down on support for the profession of health and patient advocacy during this coming year.

The state of patient advocacy is: growing – but not fast enough!  Just take a look at these statistics from the past three years. Continue Reading →

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Celebrating the 5th Annual Private Professional Patient Advocates Week

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pppawheaderOur Fifth Annual Private Professional Patient Advocates Week – is this week – March 16 to 22 -and I’m here to share tales of the growth of our profession.

Can it be that patient advocacy as a profession is now so “old” ?  Granted, there were a handful of advocates practicing long before we began to quantify and qualify the profession.  The year 2009, with the launch of NAHAC and APHA / AdvoConnection, marked the beginning of the growth that would make us a recognized profession across North America.

Some background:

From the 30-ish people who joined AdvoConnection in 2009 – for free! – with a belief that this might be an interesting alliance full of possibilities… to the almost 550 members of APHA today, and dozens more who aren’t yet on our current radar…  yes, growing.

So, as I did last year, I thought I’d share a profile of our membership and achievements:

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200 Patient Advocacy Ideas For You

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ideasYes – this post is #201 on this blog since it was first launched on June 1, 2010. At around 800 to 1,000 words per post (average) – that’s a lot of idea sharing.

When the blog was first started, it was intended to speak to both advocates and the patients who needed good ideas and advice.  The AdvoConnection Directory was new. The membership organization, now called the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, was simply called the AdvoConnection Member Organization.  There was no cost to be a member (there is now!) – and yet we still had only about 120 interested parties who had opted in to a regular newsletter and some business advice and tips.

With this post, things have only grown – blossomed really.  Patient and health advocacy and navigation has grown into a bona fide profession, only months away from offering certification, with more than three dozen educational institutions and organizations offering coursework, and thousands of patients having been served by private advocates.

I thought I’d share some statistics with you, just because maybe you’ll be interested in knowing what others with your similar career ideas have been interested in:

  • 200 posts (today is #201)
  • 364 public comments (and hundreds more thru email to me, behind the scenes)
  • 102,177 visitors

The Top 6 Most Popular Posts:

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Gallimaufry: Your Questions, Some Answers, Media and Just Stuff

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gallimaufryLast summer I came upon this great word – a word I had never heard before, but which can be used in so many aspects of conversation and life!  The word is “gallimaufry.”  It means a hodgepodge, a jumble, or confused medley of things – items, ideas, anything at all.

It’s a great word for an advocacy entrepreneur!  It describes the many ideas that come together to define challenges and create solutions, or the many activities it takes to achieve success, or even the creative approaches it takes to help our clients, or help each other.  I’ve even adopted the word for one section of my private blog.

And – it describes today’s post, which is a gallimaufry of information for you, inspired by a number of things:  current APHA activities, last week’s survey which asks you to help us determine topics and locations for our 2015 APHA advocacy business workshops, the time of year, current events – yes, a real hodgepodge, jumble or confused medley.  (Why not?)

So here you go – today’s gallimaufry:

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