WASHAA in the News
A medical diagnosis, surgery or dramatic health symptoms can upend your life. It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, college professor, musical composer or mom, nothing quite prepares you or your family for navigating medical information and choices that come fast.
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"Think about it like this: Would you to go court without a lawyer?" - Combs
"In times like these, you might want someone in your corner, someone who understands what's going on and can translate often difficult concepts into plain English. You might want a healthcare advocate."
"Health advocacy...is the act of helping patients assert their choices and rights when they are navigating the healthcare system."
WASHAA Press Release - Advocate Survey Results
"They say that getting old isn’t for wimps. Well, neither is navigating our healthcare system. The financial piece alone can feel overwhelming at times, between the cost of prescriptions, copayments, items that aren’t covered by insurance, and surprise medical bills. Even talking to one’s doctor can be challenging, especially under time constraints. How can you advocate for yourself and find trusted resources when you need them?"
“Yes, it’s coming; get prepared,” said the advisory panelist, Workforce Projects Director Cindy Burman-Woods from Whatcom Community College of the growing trend in patient navigation, care coordination, and health care advocacy as an emergent career path." Academic representatives from University of Washington and community colleges throughout the region met at the Washington State Health Advocates Association (WASHAA) annual meeting Nov. 14 to discuss how Washington is preparing its workforce to incorporate health advocacy skills.
The urgent need for health care advocates to fill roles as medical translators or insurance navigators in the community is nothing new, but locating these talented health care insiders and incentivizing action became the topic of discussion at the Washington State Health Advocates Associates (WASHAA) 2nd annual meeting on Nov. 14. “We have incredible resources in our state; how are people to know about them? Usually a person finds out when they are really sick. That’s a bad time to try to figure out the system,” said Robin Shapiro, WASHAA Chair.
Earlier this week, the Inlander, America's Best Read Urban Weekly, published a piece on patient advocacy in the Eastern part of Washington state. Anne McGregor interviewed WASHAA member and patient advocate Amy Simmons and WASHAA Executive Director Io Dolka on what patient advocates do and what lies ahead for patient advocacy as a field. Read the article here.
WASHAA held its 1st Annual State of the Industry event at the University of Washington focused on exploring the history of patient advocacy, as well as the future. Many opportunities are being created around Washington State as a result of this industry and the need to assist patients navigate health care crises is continuing to grow.
Advocate Credentialing Steering Committee Finalized
Io Dolka and Beth Droppert were named as part of the Advocate Credential Steering Committee. Of 58 applicants, nine were chosen to partake in the Steering Committee. Two of our WASHAA Board Members were chosen to collaborate on such an enormous task of assisting in the creation of the Patient Advocacy Credential.
"(WASHAA) has a keen interest in defining best practices and professional standards for advocates. Right now, the industry is so new that no regulations or accreditation standards exist." The Washington State Health Advocates Association has a clear and focused path in establishing a health advocate database for WA State, and able to assist patients who are in need of a health advocate.