This is a question – or a statement – I hear frequently from those who wish to be independent health or patient advocates who are considering which business formation they need to set up to be independent.*
After considerations of LLCs, or S-Corps or others, they tell me they want to establish a non-profit, then ask me if we offer resources to help them.
Fay is one such advocate wannabe. She asked, “Do you have any advice for establishing a non-profit or not-for-profit agency to help patients?”
Unfortunately, her question was being asked for the wrong reasons.
I’ve been working on updating the AdvoConnection Directory website because it was time, because search engines look favorably upon updates. And because my not-frequent-enough review of the site’s analytics produced a big surprise!
A surprise I’ll share with you here today.
To be clear – no changes were made to the actual search and profile areas – those all belong to our listed advocates who make those changes themselves.
Instead, I edited and updated the support pages – everything from the homepage to the About Us page to the “how to choose and interview an advocate” page.
For some background: I monitor and track the advocate listing pages diligently (and encourage our listed members to monitor their own – we provide them with stats each month.) I know people are finding our advocates in the Directory in HUGE numbers (examples: 16,000+ in January and 15,500+ in February, a shorter month, of course).
However – true confessions here – as in “do as I say, and not as I do” – I rarely look at the analytics on the basic site pages.Just not something I make time for… although as I learned this week – I should! Because I was actually very surprised by what I learned.
Back in the 1950s, into the 1960s, a game show called Who Do You Trust? aired where couples were asked questions, and one had to “trust” the other to answer it (or not!). If you remember the show (some of us do) you may also remember that Edgar Bergen (yes, Candace Bergen’s father) was the MC for the show.
However, what you may not remember is that a year or two into the show, Bergen was replaced by Johnny Carson – who often “helped” the couples get the right answers. He helped them – well – TRUST.
The irony of this particular game show, one with TRUST in the title, is that it aired during the years of the game show scandals – yes – scandals! The game show scandals were all about cheating, and giving answers to pre-determined winners, and money changing hands in ways it shouldn’t.
Over the years, one of my favorite things to do has been to work with / speak to / address college students. They are young, aren’t yet set in their ways, still hope to save the world, are naive to the “follow the money” aspects of healthcare and, honestly, it’s just plain fun.
Last week I had the privilege of participating in an ethics debate for a well-known and respected university in a course called Controversies in Healthcare (medical, legal, and bio ethics), to a combination group of law students and medical students, on the topic of independent advocacy – vs – hospital advocacy. My co-debater was the Director of Ombudsman at a very well-known and respected hospital system.
The idea, since it was a “controversies” class, was that we were supposed to argue that our own solutions were the better solutions, and that the opposing solution was not a good choice.
Last week, I received an email from a woman, I’ll call her Miranda, taking me to task for an article I had written that she found online. If Miranda had her way, I’d be walking the plank about now, or on my way to life in prison.
The article she found is about patient modesty and how it affects one’s ability to get medical care. It poses the problem, considers the roots of the situation, then offers ideas to help someone get beyond modesty hurdles in order to benefit from better medical care.
Oh, but Miranda was not happy about that article! She graced my email inbox with a missive (out of curiosity I pasted it into a word document to see how many printed pages it would be – about 5!), as if she was the prosecutor outlining all the reasons I should get life in prison, taking me to task because I had not taken into account survivors of sexual abuse. Further, the fact that I used a car as a metaphor offended her because people aren’t cars! (She’s right. They aren’t. I didn’t say they were. I used cars as a metaphor.) She expected me to rewrite and republish the article, and she wanted a “public apology” for being so callous and ignoring the plight of sexual abuse survivors.