Reflections on my first anniversary

Greetings friends and clients,

As I celebrate the one year anniversary of my patient advocacy practice, Iacopi Health Research, I want to thank you for your unwavering support and encouragement in this new career. It was a big change to switch my focus from public to private health, but working one on one with clients has been incredibly rewarding. Supporting people through their most difficult health challenges has been more meaningful than I could have ever imagined.

Starting out, I hoped to assist at least fifteen clients in my first year, and I am proud to say that I’ve just accomplished this goal! It has been enormously gratifying to grow my practice through the network of referrals from healthcare professionals, doctors and nurses, former clients and their families, and YOU! I can’t think of a greater validation for what I’m doing than trust earned through my work.

Since patient advocates are still relatively rare, I wanted to share some of my proudest accomplishments below.

  • Helped facilitate an external medical review for a Kaiser client who had been turned down three times for high risk surgery. Introduced their medical care team to UCSF Complex Abdominal Surgery Center who reviewed and approved the case. Surgery occurred in December 2017 and Kaiser covered all costs.

  • Found an ombudsman in Arizona to visit a septic 58-year old uninsured skilled nursing resident who was facing a foot amputation after an infection. Client was previously unable to find anyone to escalate his medical and legal case.

  • Found a primary care doctor willing to take on a 31-year old with highly complex mitochondrial disease and challenging insurance.

  • Researched specialist surgeons and hospitals for a client who required a rare surgery.

  • Assisted families in retrieving and organizing their medical records (and highlighting any red flags) for hospital/doctor transfer, second and third opinions, and clinical trials.

  • Prepared multiple families for medical appointments by researching their specific diseases and treatment protocols using medical databases like PubMed as well as local medical libraries from Stanford to UCSF. After preparation, clients felt confident asking relevant questions and made the most of their limited time with medical providers.

Please help spread the word among your friends, family, and anyone who you think could benefit from my services. My goal for the next year is to assist at least twenty new clients locally in Northern California and/or remotely in the US and Canada. I’ve worked with clients with the following diseases: liver disease, diabetes, substance abuse, depression, and cancers ranging from lymphoma, leukemia, carcinoma, lung, breast, and ovarian. My practice operates on a sliding scale as it’s important to me that everyone has access to personalized, compassionate, and competent support during their health crisis.

Many, many thanks again for supporting and empowering me in this work!

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year,