I am a married mother of three. Our child was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of eight. He received three years of chemotherapy and relapsed at the age of eleven, requiring a stem cell transplant (other child was the donor).
Our child survived five years post-transplant with Graph vs. Host Disease, and then relapsed a second time with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (stage four). Subsequently a second cord blood transplant was required which took place at the University of Minnesota, where we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for a period of six months away from the rest of the family.
Through our journey we received care from world class physicians and competent medical staff; however, we have also experienced life threatening preventable medical errors which almost took his life on several occasions. My husband and I intervened on his behalf several times which resulted in saving his life. I have learned to navigate health care systems and be an advocate for my family and others.
It is my firm belief that the medical world can only improve and move forward by engaging patient-centered care. Medical Institutions need the input of expert patient families to form cohesive, coordinated care for their patients.
My experience includes sitting on several advisory panels addressing top administration regarding how to improve the health care experience. I have been the keynote speaker at several annual conferences addressing medical and administrative personnel. A recent engagement involved speaking to a group of physicians, including the CEO of the Internal Board of Medicine.
It is my passion and mission to help improve our current health care system through the experience I have gained as an patient advocate in partnering, and working in collaboration with medical institutions at all levels.