empathy

All We Really Need to Know About Being Good Advocates We Learned in Kindergarten

kids image

As children across the US and Canada start kindergarten this time of the year, I’m reminded of Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, a classic, published more than 30 years ago. I’ve actually written about advocates and the kindergarten principles before, years ago, as applied to some real negativity we were experiencing as a profession then. But today’s piece is updated, much more positive, and contains some further advice not shared then. So much of this kindergarten wisdom is appropriate to our successful running of an independent advocacy or care management practice – …

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What Biases Don’t YOU Recognize?

As advocates, we all quickly become familiar with, and embrace, and share with clients, our Code of Ethics.* Of course, there are many tenets to the code, but primary among them is the very specific statement and belief that while acting as a professional patient advocate, we will never make decisions for our clients. We work to help them make their own decisions, we respect the decisions they make, and we assist them to be sure they are carried out. I’m sure, as you read that statement, you are nodding your head in agreement. YOU would never violate that tenet, …

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The Momma Test

Portrait of an old woman with her adult daughter.

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 – …

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Because Greetings Should Be All About Them

Honestly, I’m tired of the argument. I live and work in Florida where you would think it was some sort of national disgrace to wish someone “Happy Holidays”. As if somehow the failure to wish a “Merry Christmas” has been co-opted by political correctness as a personal insult to them. In my (not so) humble opinion, it has gotten worse in the last couple of years. I chalk that up to the facts that (1) I didn’t live in Florida until about two years ago (and therefore heard far less vitriol than seems to be standard fare here) and (2) …

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Serving One’s Country as a Healthcare Soldier

Over the holiday weekend – Memorial Day Weekend – I pondered the sacrifices soldiers have made for our country. I expect you did, too. I’m married to a retired soldier. My husband spent 20 years in the US Air Force during the VietNam War era. I’m so very, very proud of him and his service. Patriotic holidays have a special meaning to us because, well, he lived it. (I was not married to him in those years.) We are grateful to, and honor those who served, including those who lost their lives. All this pondering, and the tendency of my …

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Fashionistas! What Hats Does an Advocate Wear?

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 …

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Top 10 “Best Of” APHA Posts: 2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the blog posts you, my readers, considered to be most worth your reading time. Using post analytics, I’m able to see how many of you have read each of the 44 posts from 2017. Then, accommodating for the fact that some posts have been online for 11+ months, while others were just posted recently, it’s easy to tell which ones captured your imagination (or google’s search interest) to make the assessment. So here are the top 10 posts (well – OK – I …

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