I’ve seen the US healthcare system work successfully for patients and their families countless times throughout more than 30 years as a registered nurse, first responder and health educator. I’ve also seen it fail, far too many times. That’s why I created Prism Health Advocates.
Too often we’re left confused, scared and overwhelmed following a medical diagnoses or emergency, and searching desperately for information and support. But where do you start? Which specialists do you consult? What will insurance cover? What does the medical jargon mean, and what are the next steps in terms of seeking treatment, paying bills and making sense of it all? I saw firsthand how difficult these choices can be when I was responding as an EMT during midnight ambulance calls, and holding patient’s hands as they discussed end of life plans with their families as a visiting hospice nurse. As a trauma nurse in an emergency room, I watched individuals and families try to pick up the pieces and make huge decisions in the wake of tragic accidents and unexpected diagnoses. I’ve also been there myself, when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011. At 89 with no medical background and overwhelmed, she was lost on her own amid the tests, paperwork and decisions. So I naturally became her advocate, and together we researched her illness, the recommended drug therapies, surgery options, chemo, radiation, and the latest studies and trials. We found which doctors specialized in her type of cancer and had good reputations. We obtained three opinions and when she chose her doctor, and course of treatment, it was an informed decision. We kept the whole family in touch and in the loop as a strong support network for her. My sister and I accompanied her to all her appointments to make sure she understood what was being said and suggested. I wanted her to feel in charge, but to also know she wasn’t alone. Together, as a family, we were able to ensure her last days were calm, peaceful, dignified and full of grace.
I founded Prism Health Advocates because I believe that every person, and every family deserve the best access to resources, advice, and information when making medical decisions. I also want them to know that they are not alone, and that they have an experienced, compassionate team at their side.
We educate, support and empower patients and families as they navigate the complexities of healthcare. I hope you will let us help you. Debbie