Becoming an Advocate

I became a patient advocate when I became a mother. With two high-risk pregnancies that involved months of bed rest, I learned the importance of finding my voice and advocating for my children and myself.

Shortly after my son was born, I amplified my patient advocacy skills, joining the Perinatal Council as a patient advocate. Thankfully I had 20+ years of experience as a public relations professional which gave me the skills and confidence to be heard.

In telling my patient story, and helping others find their voice, I draw upon public relations tools and techniques to make sure the story is told in a way that connects with and impacts the audience. I also help medical professionals understand how best to incorporate these voices so that patient stories can play a role in transforming healthcare. 

I have combined my communications experience with my passion for patient advocacy, by writing two books – Bed Rest Mom – Surviving pregnancy-related bed rest with your sanity and dignity intact and Your Child’s Voice – A Caregiver’s Guide for Advocating for Children Who Fall through the Cracks.

 

Advocacy Education

I offer customized training and speaking to empower and educate participants so they leave feeling inspired to try out their new skills. Please contact me for more details about the workshops below.

  • The Power of Including Patient Voices in Healthcare
    Audience: Grand round attendees
    Aimed at helping leaders understand role they play in patient engagement, how they can tap into the patient experience around them and ways to include patient stories.

  • Sharing Patient Experiences is a Team Effort
    Audience: Medical staff, managers, committee chairs
    This workshop breaks down the elements of an impactful patient story, explains the difference between formal (patient told) versus informal (third-party) stories and the value of each.

  • Storytelling 101 – How to Share Your Patient Experience with Confidence
    Audience: Patient volunteers, staff
    This workshop takes patients through the steps of developing and sharing their stories so they are impactful.

  • How Patient Engagement Will Make You a Better Healthcare Professional
    Audience: Residents and healthcare students
    What a great opportunity to let students know what patient and family centered care looks like at your organization and the role they can play.

  • Your Child’s Voice – Tools, techniques and life lessons to help parents learn how to proactively advocate for their child so that their child gets the care and support needed.

  • Going beyond the label – Helping health care professionals and caregivers understand their roles and how to work together to support children who have special needs.

  • Bed Rest Mom – Supporting the mental and emotional health of pregnant women on home and hospital based bed rest. This is an area of patient care that is often overlooked, and can leave the mom feeling isolated, fearful and depressed. By addressing emotional and mental health issues during pregnancy it can prevent or minimize these issues from compounding after baby is born.

 

Coaching

Are you a patient struggling to have your voice heard? Or are you a healthcare professional trying to figure out how to include patient voices in a meaningful way? 

As a mom and a patient advocate I know the importance of including patient voices in healthcare. I also know the challenges that go with patient advocacy – from a patient perspective and a healthcare perspective (having sat as a patient voice on a number of medical committees).

I offer one-on-one coaching to help both patients and healthcare professionals not only understand the importance of patient advocacy, but also how to remove some of the common barriers. My goal in working with you is making sure patient voices go from being noise at the back of the room to standing up and being heard at the front of the room.