By Krista Zodet, President/CEO, HealthWell Foundation  |  Dec 14, 2022

A Look Back at 2022: Celebrating Patient Advocates

Many of us can find reasons to celebrate at this time of year: the upcoming holidays. The promise of a bright new year. Our good health and general well-being.

Krista Zodet

Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation

Here at the HealthWell Foundation, we have lots of reasons to celebrate. We celebrate our generous donors for helping us assist thousands of patients. We celebrate the nurses, social workers, patient navigators and other health care professionals who work tirelessly under often-grueling conditions to serve their patients. We celebrate the family caregivers who place themselves second (or third or fourth) to ensure their loved one gets the care they need. And we celebrate the patient advocacy organizations that provide much-needed, no-cost services and fund life-changing research.

We’ve featured some of these patient advocacy organizations this year on Real World Health Care, including those that advocate for patients with leukemia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Many people living with these diseases count on the essential services, sense of community and hope these organizations provide, and I encourage everyone reading to support them in whatever way you can.

Advocating for patients means more than advocating for the patient you know and love. It means advocating for all patients, especially those who are underserved. Our series this year on racial and ethnic disparities in health care shined a light on an unfortunate reality: Access to health care in America is often influenced by the color of our skin, where our ancestors came from, the language we speak, and the communities in which we live. We offer our deepest gratitude to the patient advocacy organizations and health providers who are working to erase these disparities and ensure equitable health care for all.

Next year, Real World Health Care will continue to highlight the organizations and providers working to break down barriers to care. We will seek to support family caregivers by pointing them to advice and services relating to financial management, self-care and respite care. We will continue our focus on health disparities, with a series on food/nutrition and transportation access insecurities. Plus, we’ll explore barriers that some patients face when trying to start needed medical treatments.

I invite everyone to check back in with Real World Health Care in the new year. Read our articles. Share them with your friends, family and colleagues. Sign up for alerts so you don’t miss new posts. Let us know if you have an idea for an article. Or give us feedback on something you’ve seen on this site.

I also invite everyone to advocate for patients. Advocate for yourself, a friend, a loved one or a patient you treat. But most of all, advocate for the patients you don’t know. They’re the ones who need our help the most.

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