The “Power” in Patient Power Comes from Friends

September 28, 2011
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As we often say at Patient Power, there is no one source for medical information. The same is true when it comes to support for patients. No one organization is THE place to go and has all the answers.

As we often say at Patient Power, there is no one source for medical information. The same is true when it comes to support for patients. No one organization is THE place to go and has all the answers.

That may sound obvious. But just as it has taken a long time to dislodge the “Doctor as God” perception or “I’m the doctor and you’re not” put-down of “problem patients,” there have been some non-profit advocacy groups that have seen themselves as the “be all and end all” for conditions they cover. In both cases, the arrogant doctor and the “100,000 pound gorilla” organization, neither took what I call the “big tent” view. In their view, they were the tent and there was no room for anyone else. That’s never been our view and I wanted to tell you how we are celebrating our relationships with a multitude of partners, many of whom are becoming friends.

I believe what’s best for patients is a 360 degree view of their illness: What is it? What can be done about it? Who can treat it and support me on my journey to get well?

The “who” may well be not one, but several resources. Patient Power is just one. That’s why we have been working hard, led by our Director of Strategic Alliances, Tamara Lobban-Jones, to form deep partnerships with many, mostly not-for-profit, organizations that share a devotion to patients. Many of these organizations are small or mid-size and developed because there was an unmet need. Often there was a health condition a big organization claimed to cover but never really did. These smaller organizations are often our most passionate partners.

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We work with our partners every day, sharing content, exchanging ideas – all in an effort to better support patients. Tamara, with support from Senior Coordinating Producer Brian Blankinship, has just launched a regular video newsletter for partners so we can be ever more nimble in the services we provide collaboratively. This can include fast-tracked audio and video news interviews, patient stories, and answers to your most pressing questions.

As you know, the word “partner” can have a diluted meaning these days. A lot of Madison Avenue public relations firms want to partner with patient organizations for the benefit of a client project. And then, once the project is over, the calls from New York stop. To us, on the other hand, partnerships are for the long-haul and over many years. And we look forward to increasing the power of those partnerships now and in the future to give patients and caregivers more of what they have told us they truly need: an ongoing “360 degree” world of information and support.

Watch our list of partners/friends grow. It’s a big priority for us and I know you will benefit.

Wishing you and your family the best of health!

Andrew