Channeling Oliver Twist and the Two Steps of MORE

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This past week, for the first time, AdvoConnection Directory-listed APHA members were able to access their statistics (analytics) for their AdvoConnection profiles.

  • How many visitors found the advocate’s profile in the last month?
  • How many of those visitors were unique? (first visits)
  • How long did they stay, on average, to read the profile?

Of course, the idea for each listed advocate is to try to improve upon those numbers, month over month, knowing that the MORE people who contact them, the MORE clients they may end up working with…

Or, with a nod to Charles Dickens, and channeling Oliver Twist, “Please Sir! I want some more!”

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Income Tax Time – Saving Money and Saving Trouble

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It’s that time of year when, every time we turn around, we’re being reminded that it’s time to file our income tax returns. I rank those moments right down there with getting a tooth drilled, hearing that a high school friend died, or, these days, watching the news.

Yeah.

So, in hopes of removing some of the sting, and in an effort to pull all the material together, accessible in one place, I’m going to take this occasion to compile into one post what I’ve had to say over the years about taxes on this blog:  yours, your clients, and the future of taxes, too. There may be some idea seeds to help you or your clients save money or time.

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Pancakes, Snakes, Red Flags, and Advocacy

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You don’t have to be a huge fan of Dr. Phil’s to appreciate his delightful and useful sayings. He boils down important and sometimes complex concepts into downhome philosophy that helps us better understand our fellow human beings and our lives.

Today we’re going to focus on one of those sayings to improve our ability to ferret out those clients we should not work with (yes, I said, SHOULD NOT work with):

 “No matter how flat you make your pancake, it still has two sides.”

Advocacy stories are like those pancakes. They have at least two sides, too.

I raise this today after an exchange with an APHA member about a disconcerting client experience. That came on the heels of another advocate’s experience where, because of a simple typo on her directory profile, a potential client posted a negative review of her work.

Say what? Let’s look at both stories – and, in pancake style, their flip sides.

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Fashionistas! What Hats Does an Advocate Wear?

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I played golf the other day with a group of women I didn’t know well. I came away from the round being less pleased with my golf game (I really can’t putt!), but much pleased with the conversation and its application for our health and patient advocacy profession. In fact, I was so pleased with it, I went home and recorded notes so I could remember the conversation to share with you.

The ladies I played with were very curious about advocates. They all had healthcare horror stories to share. One had recently been through some bad medical experiences with her husband. One by one throughout the morning, she told me about some healthcare system transgression he (they) had suffered. For each one, I described to her some ways an independent advocate might have helped (with the emphasis on “independent” for all the obvious reasons.)

Ultimately the conversation produced a list of “hats” – the many kinds of help and support an advocate can provide. It wasn’t a list of services, such as the list we’ve included on the AdvoConnection Directory site. Instead it was more about benefits and support.

So I share this list with you today and invite you to add to it below. Each hat completes the sentence: An (independent) advocate is a _________________.

Of course, not all advocates wear all these hats, but all advocates wear at least some of them.

So, advocate fashionistas… What hats can you add to the list?

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The Biggest Risk in Life: Are You Living the Life You Want to Live?

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A few days ago, I heard from Beatrice (not her real name), an APHA member who has been successfully running her patient advocacy practice for several years.  We met a few years ago when she and her husband attended APHA workshops. I’ve been impressed ever since with their go-getter attitudes and their ability to create the business they wanted to have.

Until this week.

Beatrice, a young advocate by our typical demographics (I’m guessing her age here… maybe late 40s? possibly 50) wrote to tell me she had suffered a heart attack in December. Yes. Really.

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