Simon and Garfunkel – an Anthem to Advocacy

OK, yes, I’m dating myself… One of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel songs is Bridge Over Troubled Water. I’ve been humming it repeatedly over the last few weeks, and last week, we let the advocacy world know why.

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you (ooo)
I’ll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

The lyrics – are like an anthem about advocacy, aren’t they? The idea that one person can help another person by creating a bridge over their problems, to make the path to the other side smoother. It’s the work advocates do every day, proudly, passionately, and most often with incredibly positive results.

Beyond the lyrics, the metaphorical bridge goes even further, which is what has prompted the song to run through my head most recently.

So – what happened last week?

Last week we announced the first ever ICOPA… the International Conference on Patient Advocacy – supporting that bridge through collaboration:

International Conference on Patient Advocacy

October 3 – 5 > Chicago

Notice those words used to describe the conference: “Navigation, Collaboration, and Solutions” followed by “The Rising Tide Floats All Boats”… once again making me think of a bridge… I want to focus for a moment on that word collaboration.

What will make this conference unique is the fact that it’s a recognition that ALL flavors and niches of advocates will come together to discuss improving their service to clients and patients. “All flavors and niches” means not just independent advocates, but hospital advocates, insurance advocates, non-profit disease focused advocates – anyone who calls him or herself an advocate according to the PACBoard definition: “A patient advocate is a professional who provides services to patients and those supporting them who are navigating the complex healthcare continuum.”

Collaboration, in this case, describes building advocacy bridges. It is the recognition that there are so many roles for advocates in the continuum, and that by working together, we can lift the boat of any patient at any stage of need.

In fact, collaboration is the way to describe just how this conference is being organized. The conference is a collaborative effort on the parts of NShore Advocates, the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB), and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA). In addition, the top leaders from other advocacy and hospital organizations like NAHAC, WASHAA, and CMSA have been invited to collaborate with us, too.

Much more information about the conference will be coming soon. Speakers, topics, location, agendas, and of course, registration information. You can keep track and stay updated on the ICOPA website. APHA will keep its members updated as time goes on. We have plans for excellent speakers, CEs for certification holders, and more.

We hope you will attend the first ever ICOPA in 2019!

And every time you think about it, perhaps you will begin humming Bridge Over Troubled Water, too. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Simon and Garfunkel – an Anthem to Advocacy”

  1. (Sung to the tune of “Mrs. Robinson”)

    And here’s to you
    Patient advocate
    Patients love you more than you will know
    Whoa whoa whoa

    What’s that you say
    Patient advocate
    You’re a member of A-P-H-A
    Hey hey hey
    Hey hey hey

    (What can I say? Trisha’s an inspiration…)

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