Patient Advocacy organizations exist across the country and GNA plans to affiliate with each of them. In fact, GNA is already actively promoting the efforts of existing Patient Advocacy organizations across the country. These organizations will benefit significantly from GNA’s mission which is to raise public awareness about the lifesaving benefits of Patient Advocacy while providing access to qualified help. But GNA will never infringe on the efforts and progress made by local and regional Patient Advocacy organizations. Our goal is to raise public awareness on a national level and elevate the entire profession.
The GNA directory is part of our national campaign to promote Patient Advocacy to the public and encourage engagement with Patient Advocacy professionals. The forthcoming GNA national directory promises to be an easy-to-use tool designed specifically for patients and loved ones who are in crisis and need help. The target audience for the national directory is the general public – not advocates. As a result, GNA will focus all resources on directing our message to the people who need advocacy services, Plus, GNA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and Patient Advocates will not be charged in order to be published on GNA sites. Instead, GNA intends to fund the campaign and directory through philanthropic capital contributions without imposing any financial burden on practicing Patient Advocates.
GNA does not and will not govern advocates. GNA recognizes that Patient Advocacy is a rapidly evolving profession with a handful of rulemaking, credentialing and governing authorities in place. GNA will require Patient Advocates who choose to be listed on GNA sites to have insurance and subscribe to established standards of practice and ethical guidelines but GNA will not govern or dictate any aspect of the profession.
GNA does not certify, educate or train Patient Advocates. The GNA mission is to promote patient advocacy to the public and provide those in need with a fast connection to advocates capable of helping. GNA supports any and all credentialing and certification programs that enhance the ability of advocates to serve patients and families. GNA will recognize and highlight the credentials and certifications obtained by Patient Advocates but GNA is not and will not be a credentialing or certification body.
GNA has forged honest and forward-thinking relationships with Patient Advocacy leaders and influencers to ensure cohesion and cooperation for the benefit of patients and families. Think of GNA as a public-facing promotional arm for Patient Advocacy that supports the profession as a whole – without infringing on the hard work that has already been done. GNA founder L. Bradley Schwartz lost his limbs to a medical misdiagnosis and made it his personal mission to prevent medical tragedies caused by healthcare system failures. He served on the Board of Directors of PACB and NAHAC ensuring that GNA members will benefit from significant insight into the goals, accomplishments, abilities and aspirations of the organizations that make up the Patient Advocacy profession.
The obvious response is “Why not?” There is really no reason for any advocate not to get involved. GNA’s specific mission is to raise public awareness about the lifesaving benefits of Patient Advocacy and steer patients and families to qualified advocates who can improve care. GNA encourages all Patient Advocates to join, maintain and renew their memberships in the Patient Advocacy organizations that train, certify, educate and govern Patient Advocates.
GNA intends to highlight and promote the Patient Advocacy skills and services of those who serve patients and loved ones. To that end, GNA will publish the profiles of individual Patient Advocates. If an advocate works for a business that provides Patient Advocacy services, the individual advocate may be listed in the GNA national directory and designate their business affiliations. But GNA will not be promoting advocacy businesses or firms in the directory – just the Patient Advocates themselves.
The simple answer is no. GNA will focus on its mission – to promote Patient Advocacy to the public and provide a way for patients and families to quickly connect with qualified advocates who can help. GNA is confident that existing organizations are doing an excellent job when it comes to training advocates and helping them run their businesses. GNA would not be possible if responsible educational and training programs were not already in place for Patient Advocates. As a result, GNA will focus solely on its mission and leave the training, education and credentialing to others.
The GNA city-sites provide a way for GNA to rally Patient Advocates to join the GNA mission while, at the same time, providing local advocates with a way to connect with each other and promote their services to the communities they serve. The GNA goal of developing a robust national directory depends on the unification, involvement and support of practicing Patient Advocates everywhere.