Talking about living and dying is an intimate experience.  It is typically not the type of conversation that the majority of people relish.  But in September of last year, WASHAA co-founder Beth Droppert, WASHAA Secretary Gina Culbert and I were driving back from our first WASHAA meeting in Spokane when we tried 
The Hello Game -- a structured way to talk about important questions. We had several hours in the car together, and Beth was trained at a National Advocacy Conference to be a facilitator.  We found The Hello Game to be a robust way to talk about questions and spurred deeper thinking and verbal processing about what is important.  I hope that you will join our WASHAA community when we play The Hello Game  as the final session of our 6th Annual Conference. The cost of the game (and lunch and parking!) is included in your Annual Meeting registration and the Early Bird rate ends September 4.

Register at:

I hope to see you there!  Here's to your good health,


Robin Shapiro
WASHAA Board Chair
This year's Annual Meeting will focus on Conscious Living & Dying: Health Advocacy at End of Life.  Washington state is innovative in many ways related to end of life options.  We are fortunate to have some of the leaders in this field joining WASHAA for a day of learning, inspiration and interaction.  Confirmed speakers include:
  • Brad S. Lichtenstein, ND BCB, in private practice at The Breath Space; Associate Professor, Bastyr University
  • Barak Gaster, MD who co-authored the recent Dementia Directive in Washington State
  • Laurie Riepe, LMHC, who will share how advocates and helpers can more deeply be a companion to those who are dying
  • Our panel this year will focus on Demystifying End of Life Options and will include Stephanie Mehl, RN, MS who will address common myths of hospice care
As our interactive activity, we will be playing The Hello Game, a structured way to have a conversation about living, dying and what is most important.  This is an excellent set of questions for patients, families or to be used by advocates in their practices.

Professionals receive an extra benefit if registering for the Annual Meeting before September 15!

For practicing advocates and professional WASHAA Members, there will be an opportunity to share your marketing material in our meeting bag and be listed in our meeting Resource Booklet when you register before September 15.  Please email after you register to confirm your listing and what material you want to insert. 
- September 12 at 4 pm
Join experienced advocates working in the Northwest who are interested in sharing success and challenges in working in the field for networking, light hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Ever thought it might be nice to partner with another advocate to cover client load or be a back up to cover for you when you travel? Are you considering a job in health or patient advocacy and want to learn more about what the field is all about? Join advocates and other professionals who support advocates and patients for a peer-to-peer sharing event. This networking session will focus on creating an opportunity to develop an ongoing way to share cases and wisdom to support advocate work. Bring your questions, challenges and successes.   

Geneva Woods Health Supplies provides incontinence and general health supplies to patients residing in Long Term Care facilities and customers in their own homes. Geneva Woods offers complimentary delivery to all customers, and specializes in billing Medicare and Medicaid. The company's mission is to improve the lives of patients by providing the highest quality products and by being committed to delivering the best customer service.

Congratulations to WASHAA Partner Member The EndBrainCancer Initiative on recently receiving CITI Certification, and becoming the first brain tumor patient advocacy organization to be listed as a nationally-recognized recruiting site.  The organization received CITI certification to recruit caregivers (through to participate in a brain cancer caregiver and patient clinical trials led by Dr. Santosh Kesari at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute.   Dellann Elliott Mydland, President and Founder of the  EndBrainCancer Initiative , commented, "We are proud to receive CITI certification. Since 2002, EBCI has been dedicated to advocating for the rights of patients for immediate access to brain tumor specialists, Centers of Excellence, cutting edge treatments, and promising clinical trials. We address the need for immediate access through its "Direct Connect" Patient Services program by educating and "pre-qualifying" brain cancer patients for clinical trials, and directly connecting them to the Principal Investigator (PI) or Medical Center hosting this trial within the patient's geography."

NYTimes and Netflix are Looking for Medical Mystery Cases - Contact before August 30

The New York Times Magazine's long-running  Diagnosis  column, written by Dr. Lisa Sanders, has undertaken an exciting new crowd-sourcing experiment in which you - the reader - can write in to help diagnose patients dealing with real-time medical mysteries. These patient stories will also be featured in a Netflix documentary series which will air in 2019. The producers are looking for new cases to follow and feature in Dr. Sanders' column and the series. They are particularly interested in patients from underserved communities not often represented in television. If you or a client is undiagnosed or has a personal medical mystery you/they would be open to sharing, please contact the producers by August 30, 2018 at . All information will be treated in confidence and be subject to HIPAA guidelines (i.e.) you will need you to sign a HIPAA release before you disclose sensitive medical information.  
DIAGNOSIS is a co-production between Netflix, the New York Times, Scott Rudin Productions, and Lightbox. You can find more details about the series here:
There are five patient stories posted to the NYTimes website of serious medical conditions, if you want to understand the format of the show:




Other Events You May Enjoy!


The National Association of Health Care Advocacy Consultants will be hosting a national conference focused on the practice of health advocacy in Marina Del Rey, CA. For more information, go to:  2018 Conference Speakers and Schedule

Find out more about the conference, organized by With A Little Help (, which will take place at North Seattle Community College.

This conference is inspired by all the amazing people out there providing great care and looking for better tools to help them be successful. Each session has something for everyone!  Family Caregivers, Professional Caregivers, Social Workers, Care Managers, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators and Guardians. CEUs are approved for Caregivers, Social Workers, Nurses, Nursing Home Administrators and Guardians.

September 12 - Networking Event (Skyline)
September 27 - Patient No More (PNV) - Free!
October 5 - WASHAA Annual Meeting 9am - 3pm (Center for Urban Horticulture)
October 9 - Spokane Quarterly WASHAA Meeting
December 6 - Networking Event (Skyline)
Although WASHAA speakers can give presentations on many topics, here are a few of our popular presentations:
  • The ABCS of a Successful Doctor Visit
  • Patient Know More ... Patient No More! 
  • The Emerging Field of Health Advocacy 
  • Safe & Sound in the Hospital: A Short Course in Patient Safety
  • Volunteer Health Advocate Training: Understanding the Role & Skills to Be Effective

To schedule a speaker for your community, please submit your request here: 

Do you have something you would like to share with the WASHAA community?  Please submit ideas to 

Washington State Health Advocacy Association
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