The International Conference on Patient Advocacy was held in Chicago April 27-30. I was lucky enough to attend as a board representative of Health AdvocateX.
It was encouraging and inspiring, how the field of independent Health Advocates has grown and developed. While corporate purveyors of Health Advocacy for large employers has been around since 1983 (I co-founded CareWise, the first commercial “Patient Advocate Service” then), the field of independent Health Advocates has emerged mainly over the past 10-15 years and is now starting to blossom. Of course, our own Robin Shapiro and Beth Droppert have been instrumental in these national developments.
There is a national coalition of health advocacy organizations recently formed and formally announced at the conference, attended by around 200 advocates from around the country, and 3 from overseas. All of the organizations of the coalition were there.
Presentations, which will be available for CE’s soon via video provided by Health AdvocateX, were high quality and varied. From a review of the history of individual Health Advocates, to case studies of successes, to credentialing discussions, to business challenges and opportunities, people were upbeat and excited, understandably so.
It was a good opportunity for Health AdvocateX to gain national exposure to the Health Advocates who attended, many of whom are already a member of our organization and participate in our online activities, but many others expressed their new interest in our efforts to promote Health Advocacy to the public and to support them in their profession. It was well worth the trip!
Michael Wood, HealthAdvocateX Board Member