From the Print

AUM leads health advocacy

Already a pioneer in its training of advocates who help guide patients and families through the healthcare system, Antioch University Midwest’s Healthcare Consumer Advocacy Certificate Program is now looking to spur new collaborations among healthcare providers in the Miami Valley.

At a forum on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Antioch University Midwest’s PNC auditorium, local and national panelists will speak on patient experience and advocacy and other issues. The event, from 5:15 to 8:15 p.m., costs $20 for the general public and $10 for students, and is co-sponsored by the Ohio chapter of the Greater Ohio Healthcare Leaders Forum.

Jane Brown, certificate program chair, along with the program’s board of advisors, conceived of the event as a way to facilitate discussion among healthcare workers.

“This is not an event to give the answers, but it’s a time to explore and find ways of working together so that we give the best care we can,” Brown said.

Featured panelists are Trisha Torrey, a New York Times contributor and author, James Gebhart, president of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, Mary Garman from Dayton’s Good Samaritan Hospital and CJ Guarasci of the Kettering Health Network.

The event is the first of its kind in the Miami Valley and is aimed at hospital executives and health clinic providers in addition to doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy, alternative caregivers, related non-profit groups, and others in the healthcare field, Brown said.

Torrey will sign her books, You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes (How to Fix Them to Get the Healthcare You Deserve) and The Health Advocate’s Marketing Handbook, starting at 5:15 p.m. The panel discussion with audience Q&A begins at 6:15 p.m. and will be moderated by clinical psychologist Jim Gebhart.

Torrey initially contacted Brown because she was impressed with Antioch Midwest’s program, which began in March of this year. The local university’s healthcare advocacy program is only the second masters degree-level residency program in the country and is unique in its focus on communication, said Brown, who fields calls from interested students around the country.

“It’s not just ‘how to’ but it has this element of respecting cultures, people’s values and being interactive with families and patients,” Brown said. The program produces healthcare advocates who don’t tell patients what to do, but instead research their options with the patients and guide them through the decision-making process, she added.

Statements about the value of the healthcare advocacy program will be presented at the networking portion of Tuesday’s event by students currently enrolled in the program.

“Continuum of care is choppy, disconnected and I think, fundamentally broken,” wrote Heidi Singer in her statement.

Fellow student Pegeen Laughlin said the advocacy program will help address healthcare problems.

“Hopefully, with more people getting more exposure to these ideas and practices, we can help to fix some of what is wrong with our medical delivery system,” she wrote.

Applications will be accepted until Dec. 1 for the second cohort, which begins in January, 2012. The program is for healthcare professionals and those with personal prior experience. The certificate may be combined with a masters degree or stand alone. Those without a bachelors can enter the certificate program upon completing Antioch University Midwest’s degree completion program in Health and Wellness.

Antioch University Midwest’s healthcare advocacy program is one-of-a-kind and timely, said AUM’s Walt Ulbricht, director of Marketing and Communications.

“As the nation moves toward healthcare reform, healthcare advocacy will become a huge issue,” he said.

Visit http://midwest.antioch.edu/hca/events.html to register online for the event or contact Brown for more information on the healthcare advocacy program at jbrown {at} antioch(.)edu. For information about the B.S. or M.A. in Health and Wellness, contact Seth Gordon at 937-769-1818.

 

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