Revisiting the Mean Girls in Our New Advocacy Environment

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The “mean girls” are at it again… or so I’ve been warned by a handful of APHA members.

I’m not sure I agree. But I know one thing for sure: the world of the mean girls has shifted.

Who are the “mean girls?”  I first applied the moniker about three years ago to refer to nurses who believed that no one should be a patient advocate unless he or she is a nurse. I cited instances when a small handful of nurses had bullied other non-nurse advocates both at conferences, and through emails – yes, actively bullied. I outlined once and for all, and very specifically, all the reasons one does not need to be a nurse to be an effective patient advocate. None of that has changed.

Now – because in the past I have been accused of stepping on nurses’ toes when I bring this up (which is never my intention) – let me be perfectly clear. I LOVE nurses! I LOVE their passion and commitment to improving the lives and quality of lives of their patients! I respect nurses for their knowledge, experience, and abilities! And I wholeheartedly support their segue into the world of independent advocacy, with gratitude that they are willing to move to the bright side.

I am also very sure that the “mean girl” concept applies only to a VERY small handful; and certainly not to all nurse-patient-advocates.

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Should Insurance Provide Reimbursement to Independent Advocates?

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I had interesting conversations with someday-advocates last week. I love those conversations; I always learn something from them which I can then bring back to the Alliance and the information we share with members.

And then again, sometimes the questions I hear are the same ones that have cropped up over and over again, including today’s question:  Is there insurance reimbursement for the work of an independent advocate?

This time, I’m going to answer that question with a few questions of my own.

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That Very Very Thin Line – Do NOT Be Tom!

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My husband and I moved two years ago to Florida where we now live in an “active adult” community*. We love it! We’re very happy here. We’ve met and made many new friends – people we have truly come to care about.

I’m following in family footsteps.  My parents did the same thing decades ago. They lived in a different city, but they, too, lived in an active adult community for 20+ years.

My father, in a somewhat macabre voice, always called it “God’s Waiting Room.”

And, as I learned again this past week, it turns out that we now live in God’s Waiting Room, too.

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Announcing: A Big Change for Admission to the AdvoConnection Directory

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Many readers of this blog are familiar with, or are already listed in the AdvoConnection Directory. It’s THE place to be for private, professional, independent advocates who want to be found and hired by patients or caregivers who need them. It’s the largest, and the only “vetted” directory that exists for advocates.

We”re announcing today a big change to what it takes to be listed in the directory which will affect almost everyone who has given thought to being included in the directory – but isn’t yet listed. That may include you!

We’ll begin with a little history to help you understand the change.

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History, Tidbits of Interest, and True Confessions about Patient Advocacy Certification

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Today’s post is deeply personal, the culmination of 5-1/2 years of work, thousands of hours of donated time and effort, and my hopes, emotions, and dreams for this profession of health and patient advocacy that I believe is so vital to the future of safe, effective, and fair patienthood.

It regards the launch in mid-March (2018) of Patient Advocate Certification from the PACB (Patient Advocate Certification Board), how we got there, my appreciation and deep respect for the hard work of my fellow PACBoard members, and the immense amount of pride I continue to feel about being a part of the Board, and my role in bringing certification to fruition as one member of the PACB.

It also includes some frustration and some lows that went with the highs….

It’s my personal take on history and true confessions all rolled into one.

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