Summer News from Healthcare Liaison

by Joanna Smith on Jul 18, 2011

There are many exciting things happening at Healthcare Liaison, even in the midst of summer!

  • We are pleased to announce the sale of our Workshop CD on the HCL website.  If you haven’t yet taken the workshop “Becoming a Healthcare Advocate:  11 Steps to a New Career in Healthcare” or if you would like to listen to the updated version, it’s for sale on our web site at:  While it sells for $199 on the web site, if you call us to order at 510-704-8476, you can purchase it via credit card for $125 until August 15, 2011
  • We have a book coming out (well, a chapter in a book!).  The book is entitled “Health—Mind, Body, Soul” and is a collection of information on different aspects of health.  Joanna was pleased to write the chapter on Healthcare Advocacy.  It will be for sale on our web site in August, also in the Web Site store at the above address.

Our credentialing classes for the fall are filling up and we have five spaces left.  Have you been considering signing up?  Now is the time!!  We are offering a “Summer Special”:  discounted pricing on our two versions of the Credentialing Program.  The 9 month program for people wanting to be credentialed in healthcare advocacy is normally $3,500; until August 15th we will be offering it for $3,000.

Our twelve month program, for people who want to be credentialed but also want assistance with actually setting up a business, is ordinarily $4,100.  Until August 15th, we are offering it for $3,600.

  • We are introducing a program for non-medically trained people who would like to be certified in healthcare advocacy.  Acceptance is based on qualifications and experience; interested people can submit a resume and arrange for an interview.  Please contact us for more information:  510-704-8476.

To take advantage of these program savings, you must send in a resume, be accepted into the program and complete your deposit to hold a place in the class, by August 15th.  The first session will be on Sunday, September 11th  (exact time to be decided on by participants).

As an added bonus, if you sign up by August 15th, we’ll add in a free copy of the updated workshop “Becoming a Healthcare Advocate”.

Advocacy for Everyone

by Joanna Smith on Jan 25, 2011

Healthcare Liaison has a training and Credentialing Program specifically for medical professionals who want to be certified as healthcare advocates.  A class of seven just passed their certification exams, and they are now running their own businesses as Certified Healthcare Advocates.  You can see them–and see if one of them is in your area–by going to .

Each time a group graduates, I am struck by how many people want to go specifically into the field of eldercare advocacy.  While it is true that the population is “graying” as baby boomers enter their retirement years, I constantly wonder about how young families with children with life-threatening illnesses manage to navigate our complex system.  I puzzle about there are many advocates who want to work with the elderly, but few who want to work with children and families:  after all, it’s not just seniors who are confused and overwhelmed by healthcare; it’s everyone.  It is one of the aspects that I most love about how I work:  I have clients of all ages and it keeps me focused on the entire range of healthcare, not just one age group.  I love working with seniors, and I love working with other age groups as well.

I have thought about this a lot because one of the populations I like working with is families with children who have complex medical conditions. Somehow, I think, there is a belief, even in medical systems, that young children and families don’t need help navigating through a medical crisis because the medical system takes care of them through the concept of “Medical Home” and there’s no need for more help.  I know, however, from watching parents with a sick child in the intensive care unit, or a family struggling with a child’s diagnosis of leukemia, that there is a need.  What kinds of services can I offer those families?

  • Help in formulating their questions to ask the medical team
  • Explanations of what is happening
  • Assistance with complex decision-making about treatment options
  • Support for second or third opinions
  • Guidance with decision-making
  • Help with managing family and friends
  • Following the family through the entire range of care
  • Insurance company assistance

My concern with healthcare advocates and the emerging profession is that advocates will specialize too quickly without first having a solid background in working with all age groups.  I think an advocate is a better advocate when they choose breadth first and then narrow to a specialty.