- Listen to Ron's Interview with Nicole Christensen -
How Patient Advocates Help You Navigate the Healthcare System
If you’ve ever been faced with the sudden task of overseeing a loved one’s care when they’re admitted to a hospital, or when they’re being discharged to rehab, or transitioned back home, well, you know how confusing and overwhelming it can be to navigate our complicated healthcare system. In today’s episode, we talk with Nicole Christensen, the founder and CEO of Care Answered, about her long career advocating for older adults, beginning with her formative experiences working in a nursing home. Nicole will describe the many dimensions of patient advocacy, from helping people know their options for care, to making sure they get the services they need, to guiding them through the maze of health care decisions so their caregivers have peace of mind. She’ll cover a range of key topics, including how to be engaged with your loved ones’ healthcare providers to prevent medical errors in hospitals. Nicole will also offer pragmatic advice about how to prepare for doctor’s visits; what questions to ask medical staff at a hospital (and make sure you understand the answers); what documents you need to be prepared for a healthcare emergency; and what you need to know about the Patient Bill of Rights at healthcare facilities. The author of “From Crisis to Calm,” Nicole passionately believes that everyone deserves the best possible care, and to ensure such care, she helps patients be prepared—not scared.
Nicole Christensen is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate and CEO and founder of Care Answered. With over 20 years’ experience in advocacy for older adults, Nicole began her focus on caregiving and advocacy in her formative years. Her career includes serving as Advocacy Director at Emmaus Service for the Aging in Washington DC; Advocacy Consultant for LiveOn NY; and Director of Food Access at FoodChange, spearheading the focused outreach and advocacy campaign. As the Vice President of Programs and Agency Relations at Island Harvest, she developed and launched their first senior citizen mobile outreach and advocacy program.
Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Baruch College and a Master of Science degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College. In addition to her professional experience, she has had the personal challenge of securing the best possible care for her own family and thus truly understands how overwhelming and daunting it can seem.