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Archive for November, 2011

Putting WOM to Work for You

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

One of our AdvoConnection members got in touch after a talk he gave to his local Rotary Club.  He was disappointed in the turn-out and wondered whether all his effort was worth it.  After our brief email conversation, it seemed that sharing some of the important points might be a good idea since you might run into some of his same issues.

Those issues are based on presentation and expectations.  So let’s take a look.

Public Speaking, whether there are 5, 50, 500 or 5000 people in attendance is a great form of WOM – that is, word of mouth marketing.  In fact, there is no more powerful form of marketing than word-of-mouth. And perhaps the best part – not only is it free (the cost comes in time and effort, but not money) – but sometimes, when you get good enough at it, you might be paid to do public speaking, too. Public speaking may not be word-of-mouth in the traditional sense (someone else’s word from someone else’s mouth) but it’s WOM nonetheless.

Here’s why WOM is so powerful for patient and health advocates:  it creates a sense of trust.  People hear you speak, they see who you are as a person, they observe how well you think on your feet, and they decide for themselves what your capabilities might be.  That sense of trust is huge for our patient-clients who are putting their lives, and their money, in our hands.

Our member’s concern was that he had been promised many more attendees would be there. He had worked with the Rotary Club president on the topic, “ObamaCare” and was told there would be 15 – 18 people in attendance.  Only 10 people showed up.

When he told me the title of his talk, I cringed, Read more…

Clarifications and an Update on the Schueler Compass Award

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Just so you know we pay attention, three important concerns have popped up about the Schueler Compass Award, the award recently announced at the AdvoConnection conference.  These concerns came in the form of replies to the survey we took after the conference was over.  Since the surveys were completed anonymously,  and since comments expressed by one person may represent the thoughts of many, we’ll address them here, publicly, on the blog.

Concern 1:  Posted among the survey results about the conference in general was the following:

There was alot of conversation about the KS awards going to 2 members who will be on this board. Most individuals I spoke to felt that if these 2 women were chosen, then they should not have been on the board to choose the candidates.

My response to this question:  I had hoped to be very clear during the conference announcement that the first three winners of the award were chosen only by Alexandra Schueler, Ken’s daughter, and me (Trisha Torrey). Our goal for the first winners was to find the people who, first, would illustrate the ideals the award stands for, and second, were good friends of Ken’s. Further, we needed to address the balance of clinical and non-clinical advocates. We hoped they would accept the award, and then agree to serve on the committee to choose subsequent winners.

And that’s exactly what happened.  Further, none of the three of them knew they were receiving the award until the day of the conference.  If you know any of them well, they were as surprised as anyone was!

Concern 2: From the same comment above, it continued:

It was not clear what the critieria was for the award & it seems to make sense to have the candidate also be someone who does alot of volunteer advocacy… Just some thoughts, but I believe some ideas should go out to the Premium Members… Several expereinced advocates seemed very disturbed by the way this award was handled…

The criteria are clearly spelled out on the website and on the application.  Of course, at the conference, due to time constraints, we listed only the titles for each of the attributes.

As for whether volunteerism should be included as one of the important attributes:  it’s good feedback and by all means, volunteerism can be considered in another year by the committee.  For now, if you want to include volunteer advocacy on your application, then do so in either the Empowerment or Community Visibility descriptions.

Concern 3:  Time. The original deadline for application for the Schueler Compass Award was December 1, giving advocates about one month to apply.  Complaints were made that we aren’t allowing enough time, especially with looming holidays… and because we don’t want someone to miss applying due to time constraints, we are moving the deadline to January 15, 2012, providing an additional six weeks.  You may nominate yourself (which is what we expect most of you will do) or you may nominate someone else.  The dates for decision-making and subsequent public announcements have been moved forward to accommodate for the new application deadline, too.

I hope this clarifies these concerns.  The award is meant to honor both the winners and Ken, too – but another important intent is to set a lofty bar for others to aspire to.  Recognizing individuals for their achievement of these high ideals elevates the entire profession.

We hope you’ll make application soon to be considered for the Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award.

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FOR PATIENTSFOR ADVOCATES |

Patient Advocacy on the Cusp of the Tipping Point

November 14, 2011 3 comments

A tipping point:  a dictionary definition will tell you that it means “the crisis stage in a process, when significant change takes place.”

And for patient and health advocacy – we are almost there.  Almost at the tipping point.

I first learned the term when I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book by that title, The Tipping Point.  I learned that the term is borrowed from epidemiology.  That is, when a contagious organism infects enough people to go from just a few sick people, to hundreds, or thousands or millions – the tipping point occurs in that modicum of space or time, when all of a sudden it switches from almost epidemic to being an epidemic.  It’s when that threshold is crossed.

Another way of looking at it comes from Hollywood – when an “overnight success” is recognized, even though he or she has been acting, singing or performing for many years prior to that point. But that point between when few know who s/he is and millions recognize his/her name – that’s the tipping point.

Tipping points don’t happen by themselves.  They require a set of circumstances that make the tip happen.  Gladwell describes types of people who make them happen:  connectors, mavens and salesmen, all of whom have a role in helping a concept cross that threshold to become mainstream.

In the past week, two people have shared links that indicate to me that we are almost there.  Both are quotations from well-known or well-regarded people who have identified or described what patient advocates are doing, thereby moving us closer to the mainstream.  These aren’t people who are involved in patient advocacy, meaning these quotations are in no way self-serving.  They are observational – and powerful.

Read more…

First Schueler Compass Award Winners

November 6, 2011 1 comment

The first AdvoConnection Business Institute is behind us – a grand learning time was had by all.

During the conference, the establishment of the H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award was announced by our “mystery” keynote speaker – Alexandra Schueler, Ken’s daughter.  Her speech was one of the best I have ever heard in any venue, under any circumstances – quite remarkable for a young woman who is just starting out in the world.  Alexandra shared her dad with us, what she knew about his work, and his relationship to his work. She evoked laughter and tears, respect and compassion.  The audience was truly moved, and even those who had never heard of Ken and his work came to know the most important parts of him and his legacy.

And now we will further Ken’s legacy through this new award, described here.

To punctuate Alexandra’s talk, we announced the first winners of the Schueler Compass Award.

•  Ida Schnipper, friend of Ken and owner of Health Champion

•  Sima Kahn, MD, friend of Ken and owner of Healthcare Advocacy Partners

•  Jason McNichol, friend of Ken and president of Health Advocacy Solutions

These first three winners were chosen by Alexandra and me (Trisha Torrey) because they exemplify the high ideals that laid the foundation for Ken’s work and because they were all good friends and colleagues of Ken’s.  Then, because they are the first three, they were also asked to serve on the committee that will choose the winners in future years. Please wish them a hearty congratulations!

You can learn more about the award, and find a link to the application on the AdvoConnection website.  Deadline for the 2012 award is December 1, 2011.  We hope you will apply.

Announcement: The Ken Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

As announced this morning at the AdvoConnection Business Institute, and in honor of the spirit, legacy and memory of Ken Schueler, our friend and colleague who passed away last spring, we’d like to invite you to apply for the Ken Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award.

The H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award recognizes Ken’s role in defining and growing patient advocacy as a valuable service that improves the lives of its client-patients. In his name and honor, it supports the growth of this career, and the work of individuals who wish to succeed by following in his footsteps. Ken’s work, like a compass, guides them, giving them direction.

The name is derived from the quote of one of Ken’s patients, Louis Chiricella, who, during a Fox News TV special in Fall 2010 called Winning the War on Cancer, said, “When I contacted Ken Schueler, it was like finding my compass.”

Two awards will be provided each year to patient advocates who best illustrate those professional attributes Ken felt were important. They form the criteria for the award:

  • Empowerment
  • Inclusion
  • Integrative, Evidence-Based Approach
  • Continuous Learning
  • Sharing and Mentoring
  • Community Visibility

The selection committee is comprised of several members of AdvoConnection, plus Ken’s daughter, Alexandra, who participated in the creation of the award.

One award will be made to a patient advocate who, in the past, enjoyed a clinical career.  The other will be awarded to an advocate who did not have a clinical background before becoming an advocate.

Learn more about the H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award.  Then, begin preparing your application.  The application deadline is December 1, 2011.  The winners will be announced to the public March 1, 2012.

(Update:  Meet the first winners of the Schueler Compass Award!)

——————-  LEARN MORE  ——————-
FOR PATIENTSFOR ADVOCATES |