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Dear Ashley,

I have found myself looking back at the past a lot in the last few weeks. Maybe it is because in April it will be my 30th year of living in the Pacific Northwest. I came to Seattle in 1994 when the area was relatively undeveloped and unknown. It was a cool time – a year after ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ (the movie!) debuted and grunge music was peaking. In those thirty years, I met and married my husband, had two great kids (now adults!), founded companies, served on boards, but one of the things that I most proud of is partnering with Beth Droppert, BSN, RN to contribute to the field of health advocacy, including co-founding HealthAdvocateX


In the last 14 years, this organization has reached thousands of people, providing education, resources, sometimes answering calls that were truly life and death from patients or family members trying desperately to navigate care….or connect to the perfect provider or just understand an unimaginable diagnosis where they had precious little time to make life-changing decisions about care. 


One thing is clear – dozens of people have led this movement and had real impact in advancing this field. I have been fortunate to connect recently with former Board Members, past speakers and others who have seen the growth of health advocacy – but we still have so much to do and we cannot do it without YOU! 


We are re-energizing our organization with new Board Members and are about to re-build our website. We would love to hear from you in a new survey we are launching TODAY! See our story below. 


During April, HealthAdvocateX we will welcome back our esteemed former Board Member and former Medical Director at Swedish Health Services, Dale Reisner, MD, who will be giving us an update on all things related to COVID-19 for our Community Conversation. I will be moderating this important conversation as we look back four years. 


I hope to see you there! 

Here's to your good health,

Robin Shapiro and the Team at HealthAdvocateX

Upcoming Events

Community Conversation – April 8, 2024

What We Now Know After Four Years - A Community Conversation

When: April 8, 2024 | 11am – 12pm (PT)

Where: Online via Zoom (Register Here)

Cost: FREE! | Available for 1.0 BCPA CE

Dale Reisner, MD will provide the most recent information about what we now know about COVID-19 after four years of facing it. She will address common myths, facts and what we are still in the process of learning. She will also review other public health current issues. Our community will also discuss the current dearth of primary care medical professionals and what individuals can do to make sure they can get the care they need. Bring your questions for a robust session! 

CE will be General Education and Communication 

This Community Conversation is FREE to attend. It is also available for 1.0 BCPA CE for $15. 

CE Information for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPAs):

This session is available for BCPA CEs (1.0 CE). This live Community Conversation will take place on March 11, 2024, and will also be made available on-demand. You must complete the follow-up CE Survey in order to obtain credit.

About the Speaker -

Dr. Reisner graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine and did her OBGYN Residency at University of Texas, San Antonio. She practiced in a 3-physician hospital-based group and worked part-time with a solo OBGYN in San Diego for 2 years prior to beginning her MFM Fellowship in Boston at Tufts/New England School of Medicine. She returned to Seattle in 1990 with her family including 3 young children (3 ½, 2 years old and a newborn) to join the Swedish Perinatology group as the first female physician.

During the early 1990’s, she began participating in both the statewide Perinatal Advisory Committee (evolved into the state Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative) and represented the WA State Obstetrical Assoc at the WSMA annual House of Delegates meetings. Through this work and her last 10 years as Medical Director of OBGYN Quality & Safety at Swedish, she has committed her efforts to improving maternal and neonatal outcomes and decreasing morbidity and mortality for all pregnant people.

Currently, Dr. Reisner is owner and principal consultant for DPR Healthcare QI Consulting which allows her to share her expertise in quality & safety processes in healthcare settings offering approaches to enhance patient, practitioner, staff satisfaction and improve outcomes.

Register Here


The Movie: Angst & LIVE Panel Discussion –

May 6, 2024


When: May 6, 2024 | 4pm – 6pm (PT)

Where: Online

Join HealthAdvocateX for a thought-provoking event featuring the powerful documentary “Angst.” This film delves into the complexities of anxiety, offering insights into its impact and strategies for coping. Following the screening, engage with experts in a dynamic panel discussion exploring mental health, resilience, and community support. Gain valuable perspectives and tools to navigate the challenges of anxiety in today’s world. Don’t miss this opportunity to foster understanding and empowerment in the face of mental health struggles. 


  1. Understanding the Complexity of Anxiety: The movie provides insights into the multifaceted nature of anxiety, illustrating how it can manifest differently in individuals and impact various aspects of their lives. 
  2. Destigmatizing Mental Health: By sharing personal stories and experiences, “Angst” helps break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues like anxiety, encouraging open dialogue and empathy. 
  3. Exploring Coping Strategies:  The film explores a range of coping strategies for managing anxiety, from mindfulness techniques to seeking professional help, empowering viewers with practical tools to address their own struggles. 
  4. Building Supportive Communities: Through its narrative, “Angst” emphasizes the importance of building supportive communities that foster understanding, acceptance, and validation for individuals grappling with anxiety, highlighting the significance of social connections in mental health care. 

About the Panelists -

Rebeka Acosta is the first Board Certified Patient Advocate in Nevada, earning her credentials after a 15-year career in healthcare administration and finance. In 2011 and 2013, she welcomed children to her family with complex medical needs and spent the next several years navigating the healthcare and education systems on their behalf.

With her sons thriving, Rebeka returned to the workforce in 2017, but this time followed her heart to patient advocacy. She earned her BCPA credentials in 2018 and founded A+J Pa.ent Advocacy in 2021. In 2023, Rebeka was named a Vegas Stronger Champion by KTNV Las Vegas, and Advocate of the Year in Pediatrics at the Healthcare Advocate Summit. She lives in the greater Las Vegas area with her husband, two teenagers, and two Great Danes.

Sue Quinlan started her career with the Peace Corps/VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri. It was there that she learned no matter what your background, economics, or age, we all need someone to listen to us, believe in us and teach us. She received a BA degree from Drake University and a MA from Northeastern Illinois University. She then worked the next 35 years in Township District 211, located in Palatine, Illinois, starting as a social science teacher, moving to Palatine HS to be a counselor, and achieving National Board Certification in Counseling. She worked on countless initiatives, learning and understanding the needs of students and helping them find their way. She helped develop TRUST peer counseling that trained student leaders to provide peer support. She is most proud of her work with Project Excel, a program that helps students from diverse backgrounds achieve success in high school that leads to college opportunities. The program started with a small group of students and continues to grow today. After retirement, Sue continued working with students, starting a non-for-profit organization called Excel Beyond 211 DFS, dedicated to mentoring, advising, and financially supporting young adults who are determined to excel through college graduation and beyond. Excel Beyond 211 matches each mentee with an adult mentor who has been chosen for his or her ability to guide, nurture, and empower their mentee. At home with her husband, she proudly shares the accomplishments of her children; actor in LA, architect in Hong Kong and teacher/technology specialist in Mt. Prospect, IL.

Lee Mulert, MBA, MS, BCPA, CSA is the CEO & Founder of HealthACR, LLC, a private professional Health Advocacy firm with clients nationwide. With over 45 years of knowledge and experience in the healthcare industry from business, reimbursement, research, clinical and psychosocial perspectives, Lee brings her intuitive personality and problem-solving skills to help patients and families work through crises and identify options that meet their needs. In addition to her MBA, she earned her MS in Counseling, is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) and a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA). Her years of experience conducting negotiations help her to facilitate communications and mediate difficult situations for her clients. Her clients range from pediatric to older adults and incorporate a range of medical, psychosocial, mental health, trauma and substance use issues that affect them, their families and loved ones. Lee strives to ensure that her clients understand and feel that they are empowered participants in every aspect of their own health care. Lee is on the Board of the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) and is PACB’s Treasurer (effective January 2023). Previously she served on the Board of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy (NAHAC) as the Treasurer and Vice President. She is also a member of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy (NAHAC), the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA).

Community Conversation - May 13, 2024

Respite or Permanent Move To Adult Family Home, Assisted Living Or Memory Care, Where Do We Start?

When: May 13, 2024 | 11am – 12pm (PT)

Where: Online via Zoom (Register Here)

Cost: FREE! Also available for 1.0 BCPA CE

Navigating the transition to adult family homes, assisted living, or memory care can be daunting. This enlightening discussion explores the crucial considerations and initial steps involved in making this decision. From assessing care needs and financial planning to evaluating facility options and understanding the difference between respite and permanent moves, attendees will gain clarity on where to begin. By addressing key factors such as location, amenities, and quality of care, individuals and families can make informed choices for their loved ones’ well-being and comfort.


  1. Define respite versus permanent moves to adult family homes, assisted living or memory care.
  2. Discuss the different facilities for elderly loved ones.
  3. Look at the key factors needed to make this decision.

About the Speaker -

Chief Care Officer, Adrienne Miller, has spent her career making connections that provide the best possible outcomes for all involved. She became a Senior Housing Advisor after going through the confusing and overwhelming process of finding a care community for her 93-year-old Aunt. She knows what it’s like to not know where to start, what will be safe, and what specifically to look for when trusting a loved one to someone else’s care. She helps families navigate moves to assisted living and memory care, whether for a respite stay or a permanent placement.

Register Here

Case Review - May 16, 2024

Reducing Financial Barriers To Healthcare: One Patient's Story

When: May 16, 2024 | 5pm – 6:30pm (PT)

Where: Online via Zoom (Register Here)

Cost: FREE! Also available for 1.0 BCPA CE

In this brief but impactful session, Sarah Jane will explore the financial barriers that are present to all patients, and specifically how they were able to be reduced in this one case. Be part of this important conversation as we seek to possibly implement these reductions for other patients alike.


CE will be Financial, General Education and Ethics


This event is open to all health advocates!

Professional Members of HealthAdvocateX, in good standing, the event is free to attend. Non-members the cost is $40. It is also available for 1.0 BCPA CE for $15. Invitations will go out via email soon!

Please reach out to us at info@HealthAdvocateX.org if you have any questions.

About the Speaker -

Sarah Jane Yang, MS, RN – Sarah Jane is a Care Advocate and Master’s level registered nurse with experience managing complex medical cases and navigating in-hospital services.

Sarah Jane’s background as an ICU and ER nurse gives her special insight to support multifaceted health challenges. Her experience as a hospital administrator provides a solid foundation navigating the “behind the scenes” complexities of the entire healthcare system including communicating with medical personnel in hospital settings, medical coding, insurance contracts and payment denials.

The passion to educate and empower patients drives Sarah Jane’s advocacy above all else. She envisions a world where no patient is too intimidated, financially marginalized or ill-informed to get their medical needs met. She understands how vulnerable the process of getting the care you need can be and she strives to provide clients with the maximum amount of independence and life quality as possible.

Register Here


In the past few years our volunteer and staff have been taxed and we feel we could be serving you better. Now is the time to tell us how! We are launching a new member feedback survey – that will be open until April 30, 2024. Your opinion matters to us! Help us make our organization even stronger and help support you in the way that is meaningful. 

Please take the survey here: 


Other Events You May Be Interested In

MASSACHUSETTS – April 10, 2024 (In-Person)

Please consider joining  Massachusetts Health Care Advocates(MAHCA) at our  Inaugural Spring Symposiumon  Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at Assumption University. 


Massachusetts Health Care Advocates  is aregional group of our national association called  National Association of Health Care Advocacy  (NAHAC)


Soon after founding Healthassist almost 20 years ago, I helped to found both professional organizations and although small, we are mighty. 


Our members requested  educational in-person events to both learn and network with members of our own community, other communities that advocate on the behalf of healthcare consumers, and the public. 


Our symposium on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, is entitled  Strategies for Meaningful Change:  Looking at the Future of Healthcare with Hope


The $50 registration fee includes (3) Continuing Education credits (CEs) for  Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA) and  Society of Certified Senior Advisors® (CSA), lunch, networking, and free parking. Other professionals might be able to submit the CEs for post approval to their professional organizations. 


All details and registration can be found here: https://www.mahealthcareadvocates.org/2024mahcasymposium 

Healthcare Advocate Summit - September 2024

Join us at the coveted event for advocates by advocates, September 3-6, 2024 in Las Vegas. This Summit is the premier event for any stakeholder involved in patient access, navigation, reimbursement, and medication. Advocates and key Industry Leaders are invited from across the country to take part in this urgent discussion on improving access to care.

Register Here: https://www.healthcareadvocatesummit.com/register

Successful First XCenter Event

Earlier this year, we hosted the inaugural event of our newest initiative: ‘XCenters.’ The concept behind these centers is to provide credible, understandable and actionable information on a variety of topics through the lens of health advocacy. Our first topic: Transgender Advocacy 101.

A Special Thank You

A very special thank you to Dr. Malynnda Johnson and our esteemed panelists, Kim Mcilnay, Quin Buhs, Molly Crowther, and Nancy Keller, who provided profound insights on Transgender care.

XCenter Completion Badge

Professional CE participants of the event had the opportunity to receive an exclusive badge, which can be displayed on your profile, website, or professional platforms, signifying your completion of the XCenter Transgender Advocacy 101 event.

It's Not Too Late

Missed the event? Don't worry! You can now purchase the content of these modules and on-demand discussions. We believe in equal access for all; if purchasing causes financial hardship, non-CE tickets are available. Reach out to info@healthadvocatex.org for assistance.

Go to XCenter On-Demand

HealthAdvocateX Calendar

April 8: Community Conversation - COVID-19 - What We Now Know After Four Years (Register Here)

May 6: Movie & LIVE Discussion (SAVE THE DATE!!!)

May 13: Community Conversation - Respite or Permanent Move To Adult Family Home, Assisted Living Or Memory Care, Where Do We Start? (Register Here)

May 16: Case Review - Reducing Financial Barriers To Healthcare: One Patient's Story (Register Here)

June 10: Community Conversation

July 8: Community Conversation

August 12: Community Conversation

September 9: Community Conversation

September 19: Case Review

October 14: Community Conversation

November 11: Community Conversation

December 5: Case Review

December 9: Community Conversation

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Statement

Approved by the Board September 21, 2022
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Statement

Our mission is to help people transform into active participants and partners in their own health care. To make this possible, we must advocate for inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) for all individuals.
We recognize that:
  • Racism is a public health issue that impacts various intersections and communities differently.
  • Each person is unique and therefore experiences health care differently.
  • Every individual deserves health advocacy regardless of their race, ethnicity, language, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, spiritual practice, financial status, education, geography, disability, mental and physical status, age, weight, substance use disorder or other factors. 
  • Our organization is uniquely positioned to raise awareness on IDEA in health and health care.
We are committed to:
  • Raising awareness about the importance of IDEA in health and health advocacy in all aspects of care.
  • Expanding diverse representation within our organization, expert presenters, and educational offerings.
  • Intentionally messaging our values, sharing IDEA expectations for ourselves, affiliated advocates, and partnering groups.
  • Creating space for respectful dialogue about representation, equitable access, and inclusive practices in health care and health advocacy.
  • Educating our community and participating in opportunities about IDEA events and exercises to keep these issues in the forefront of our work.
  • Implementing systems to ensure IDEA is pervasive in our organization.
We will reflect on our accomplishments with humility and grace. We will recognize our limitations and remain open to what we may not see or realize so that we can improve and or repair any harm. 

Land Acknowledgement

HealthAdvocateX is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe. We invite you to join us in acknowledging and thanking indigenous people for their ongoing stewardship wherever you are located.
Land Acknowledgement Challenge

Will you help us? We invite YOU to research and submit the name of the people, your location and how you would word your own personal land acknowledgement. Our Board will be selecting and reading land acknowledgements from across the country at our Monthly Board Meetings. You can submit it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hadvx-land-acknowledgement

Do you have something you would like to share with the HealthAdvocateX community?

Please submit ideas to info@HealthAdvocateX.org
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