EPIC -- not the medical charting system -- but the weather this Spring!  It reminds me about how quickly things change in life.  One recent Seattle day included hail, sun, rain, wind and snow.  Just like the change in weather, you never know when you, a loved one or friend will experience a medical emergency.  A simple surgery can become complicated.  A tweak from a workout can improve or can lead to a prolonged injury. 
Our mission is to help people anticipate what to do when confronted by a health issue.  Through our public presentations and support for the health advocacy field, we believe that we can become better prepared to make health decisions that give us choice and control.  We also help point people in the right direction to find people, professionals, practices or tools that can help.

Here's to your good health,


Robin Shapiro
Chair, WASHAA Board

As Vice President of Western Region Member Services at PinnacleCare, Kristen leads a team of health advisors providing health advocacy services locally and nationwide. She and her team of advisors guide and empower consumers to optimize their healthcare experience. Kristen has an M.A. degree in Counseling Psychology and is licensed as a counselor in Maryland and Washington state. During her more than 20 years of experience in the health field she has served as a clinical supervisor of a partial hospitalization program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a support counselor for the Epilepsy Foundation, and a school-based therapist and consultant. Kristen is dedicated to helping people achieve their best health through her work as an advocate and through volunteer work in the community. 
For professional health advocates, a national advocate directory is being developed to help patients more easily find who is available throughout the country.  There is no cost, but advocates need to be insured for their practice in order to join.  Please sign up at:   https://www.gnanow.org/#membership

Join with WASHAA community at a periodic networking meeting, where you can meet advocates and other professionals interested in supporting health advocacy.  We will enjoy some light appetizers and wine as we spend time discussing issues relevant to health advocacy professionals.  Future networking meetings are scheduled for: June 20, September 12 and December 6 from 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Skyline in Seattle.

The April 25 meeting will be 4:00 - 6:00 pm at Skyline.  Register Today!

Your financial gift during GIVEBIG will help us continue the progress we are making!  On  May 9th , WASHAA will participate in the GiveBIG campaign organized by the  Seattle Foundation . By giving a gift to WASHAA through this campaign - your dollars will go farther.  We have secured matched dollars and your gift can also enable WASHAA to qualify for contributions through the Seattle Foundation.  By planning and giving through this campaign, WASHAA can also count on your funds being used right away for major initiatives this year:  expanding our public presentations and volunteer health advocate training, and reaching beyond western Washington state.  Please plan your gift today -- donors can schedule an online donation starting on  April 26 . To schedule a donation, a donor needs to create a simple account on  GIVEBIGseattle.org . The donor will receive a confirmation email receipt upon submitting the form. The donation will not be processed until  May 9 . The donor will receive a receipt confirming once the gift has successfully processed on  May 9 .  Thanks in advance for your support!

April 25 - Networking Event (Skyline)
April 26 - Safe & Sound in the Hospital (PNV) - Free
April 30 - Patient Know More (Aljoya/Mercer Island) - Free!
May 1 - NW Patient Safety Coalition Conference (Robin will speak on Innovation and Health Advocacy)
May 14 - WASHAA Professional Meeting - Spokane
May 15 - Community Presentation - Spokane
May 21 - The ABCs of a Successful Doctor Visit (Parkshore)
June 20 - Networking Event (Skyline)
June 28 - Food As Medicine (Webinar)
September 12 - Networking Event (Skyline)
September 27 - Safe & Sound in the Hospital (PNV) - Free!
October 5 - WASHAA Annual Meeting 9 am - 3 pm
December 6 - Networking Event

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 Know 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: 

Other Events You May Be Interested In
The Washington Patient Safety Coalition invites patients, family caregivers, and patient advocates to attend our upcoming  Northwest Patient Safety Conference  on May 1st at the Hilton Seattle Airport, with a special discounted rate offered to these attendees. To those in these communities: we need your voice and your presence now more than ever to be a truly well-rounded meeting of the minds exploring patient safety and where it's going in these unprecedented times. For you, our hope is the conference offers the benefit of creating space for immersing and networking with others in the healthcare community, informing your understanding of the current efforts being made, and sharing your perspective with a wide diversity of attendees. Topics covered this year include health IT, mindfulness, just culture, laughter as medicine, opioids and pain management, communication and resolution, health advocacy, care for the caregiver, burnout prevention, and more. Patients and those devoting energy to family caregiving and advocacy are encouraged to attend. Registration and more information can be found at the event site . Be sure to select the following from the registration menu to receive the discounted rate: 'Patients, Family Caregivers & Patient Advocates'. 

By Robin Shapiro

Originally published in the Puget Sound Business Journal on April 5, 2018.

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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