One of our AdvoConnection members, Elisabeth Russell, is featured in the March issue of MORE Magazine. The story of her journey toward becoming a patient navigator is worth reading. I dare you not to choke up when you read about her daughter’s diagnosis and treatment results. A true blessing – and very well written. (Thank you MORE Magazine!)
But there were some real mistakes in the sidebar information – and they need to be pointed out. Potential patient advocates and navigators can get the wrong picture from what’s there. At this point in our growth as a career, it’s important these facts be set straight.
The major problem here is that MORE Magazine has lumped together hospital advocates with private patient advocates and navigators. As most of us realize, a hospital advocate and a private patient advocate or navigator (which is what Elisabeth is) – don’t have the same job. Yes, patients may benefit from working with either, but hospital advocates work for hospitals. Private advocates work for patients. That huge difference can make all the difference in the care the patient receives.
Here are the MORE Magazine sidebar points broken down:
1. They state the salary for a hospital advocate. But that has nothing to do with the salary potential for a private patient advocate or navigator for whom the sky is the limit.
2. The number of hospitals training people as a result of the stimulus bill is irrelevant when it comes to private patient advocacy. Those advocates are being trained to work for hospitals TO SAVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM MONEY. They are about money – not patients’ health or lives.
3. Love the increase in the membership of NAHAC. If they had asked about AdvoConnection we would have to give them even bigger numbers! That’s our indication of what a growing field this is. Advocates are well served by belonging to, and learning from, both organizations.
4. MORE Magazine states that there are 8 organizations offering programs for patient advocacy. Wrong. There are at least 12. Here is the list of educational programs for patient advocacy. (We have three more we are checking into.)
Thanks to MORE Magazine for doing a great job telling Elisabeth’s story. But next time, I hope they can get their facts straight.