A Puzzle, A Mystery…and A Workshop

by Joanna Smith on Feb 9, 2010

I’ve been ready Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw and found his chapter on puzzles and mysteries very intriguing. He says we want life to be like a puzzle:  if only we could find that one piece, everything would fit together and be clear.  Instead, it’s a mystery with many pieces missing and needing to be arranged and re-arranged to find a solution.

And healthcare is a prime example.

If you cut your finger, that is a puzzle:  we know, if it’s a minor cut, it needs…washing, perhaps an antibiotic ointment, maybe a band aid.  If it’s major, it may require stitches.  But if you are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or an irregularity of your heart beat, that is something different.  There are no pat answers:  you need to do a lot more investigation and thought, along with your healthcare team, to figure out the best treatment options.  This is a time when healthcare advocates can be of so much help to people.  It’s the mysteries we can help most with, by showing people how to problem-solve, interpret the information they’re receiving and make a decision.

These topics are some of what is included in the curriculum of Healthcare Liaison’s “Becoming a Private Healthcare Advocate”  workshops.  The next one will be at UC/Berkeley on February 27th and 28th.  You can look at the course description at www.healthcareliaison.com/workshops.

Marie Shouldice R.N. B.S.N. Becomes a Certified Private Healthcare Advocate

by Joanna Smith on May 1, 2009

Marie Shouldice R.N. B.S.N.
Phone: 510-300-4782

Serving clients ages 14 years and up
in Alameda & Contra Costa Counties.
Certified Private Healthcare Advocate

Practice Focus, Interests
Practically speaking, I am a human GPS for healthcare, and can take you on the most direct and useful route to your healthcare destination. I regularly perform complex case management and discharge planning, pre-operative orthopedic total joint instruction and general surgery preparation and recovery planning. I will assess your situation, and together we will create an individual plan of care to meet your needs.

Navigating the healthcare system on your own can often take you on circuitous routes and sometimes end up in gridlock. With my up-to-date, practical, and functional knowledge as a Case Manager, I will enable you to recognize medical “traffic jams” while confidently advocating your concerns to your healthcare providers. I can efficiently and thoughtfully navigate the healthcare system, both inpatient and outpatient.

Professional History
I have been an R.N. Patient Care Coordinator/Case Manager for more than 25 years. I have worked at UCSF, St. Mary’s Medical Center, San Francisco, and have spent the last 8 years at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

Academic Background
I am a California-Licensed R.N. and have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from San Francisco State University. In addition, I have a Certificate in Legal Nurse Consulting from California State University East Bay.

Michael Knappman, BS, MPAS Becomes a Certified Private Healthcare Advocate

by Joanna Smith on May 1, 2009

Michael KnappmanMichael Knappman, BS, MPAS
Phone: 707-792-1619

Serving Sonoma County, Northern California
Certified Private Healthcare Advocate

Practice Focus, Interests
“I am a cancer survivor and have experience assisting others with cancer diagnoses, understanding the complex choices they face, and accessing appropriate care. My field of practice has been in primary care medicine serving individuals of all ages. I have considerable experience working with the Spanish speaking population, and have a special interest in working in cross cultural medicine.”

Professional History
I have practiced as a licensed Physician Assistant in the areas of primary care medicine, women’s health, and pediatrics for over 20 years. I spent the last 17 years working for the Sonoma County Health Services Department, in Santa Rosa, CA.

Academic Background
Certified Private Healthcare AdvocateI received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley, and my Physician Assistant Certificate from the UC Davis Medical School FNP/PA program. I completed a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies through the University of Nebraska Medical School. I am a member of the California Association of Physician Assistants (CAPA), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC). I served as a Board member of the Jewish Community Free Clinic in Rohnert Park, CA for six years.