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  • For the past seven weeks, I have been trying to fill a couple of prescriptions. Having taken the meds for the past couple of years, one might think the process would be easy.

    Alas, one would be mistaken.

    Issues with doctors offices, insurance, and pharmacy have driven me to the brink of insanity. They have led to a flare of the disease with symptoms including, but not limited to, ongoing pain, severe fatigue, insomnia, migraines, nausea, doubled vision, cognitive gaps, and speech issues.

    I have come to think that someone else could do this better than me, and so, this morning, in the midst of a half dozen calls with medical professionals, I have come up with a job posting.

    Job Title: Patient Advocate

    Requisition #: 867-5309

    Location: Washington DC

    Position Type: Full Time Volunteer [Read: UNPAID]

    Job Description: This position will direct Patient Advocacy efforts on behalf of Kristin, helping to establish the patient as a human being with an incurable, progressive, and ultimately debilitating disorder, a heart, and a soul in the minds and actions of medical professionals, insurance company, and friends, family, and strangers. This position will build relationships with leading organizations and stakeholders, specifically working to enhance Kristin's quality of care in terms of managing the disease and minimizing physical and financial stress and gaps in medical care and treatment in order to reduce exacerbation of symptoms and progression of the disease. Successful applicant must display ability to develop innovative approaches and implement comprehensive patient advocacy plan.

    Relationships: Report directly to the Kristin. Work closely to with Neurologist, Neuroimmunologists, Insurance Company, Pharmacy, Employer, Neighbors, Homeowners' Board, Volunteers at books to prisons and domestic violence (DV) shelter, Family, Friends, Customers requesting gift wrapping services during holiday fundraiser, shelter kids, and the sullen grocery manager who delivered a lecture instead of helping cashier load a gift card early Sunday morning.

    Essential Functions: Develop and implement strategic plans that support the mission of Patient Advocacy and Kristin's goals and objectives.
    • Establish, build, and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders including parents, siblings, and friends, coworkers and fellow volunteers as well as within the medical and insurance communities.
    • Develop a broad network of personal contacts with targeted therapeutic areas, general advocacy area, and with executives and staff. Lead relationship-building activities with these stakeholders. Utilize these relationships, as needed, to influence discussions on access to innovative treatments and quality patient care.
    • Call insurance company, mail order pharmacy, and neurologist's office several times a day, every day for a month and a half until securing either prior approval for the prescription Kristin has or a prescription for the prior approval Kristin has
    • Secure copies of, read, and understand annuals scans/progress notes from neuroimmunologists
    • Develop and implement short term and long range strategic patient advocacy plans and activities
    • Maintain appointment and medication calendar to ensure continuous care noting six week lag in neurological appointments, lack of response from neuroimmunologists, and circular pattern of calling doctor, insurance, and pharmacy to obtain prior approval and prescriptions for medication
    • Identify the lowest cost provider for each prescription and the timing and quantity required to garner said cost. [Note: The difference in cost will exceed one-third of Kristin's gross income. Failure to comply will lead to certain destitution.]
    • Find time for Kristin to walk four miles to initial forms Wednesday that she could have signed Monday
    • Obtain order for blood test
    • Schedule time to walk four miles for blood test [and four miles back]
    • Find out why Kristin has the white blood cell count of someone with blood cancer and/or AIDS
    • Provide leadership to internal/external key stakeholders sharing knowledge and insight with an emphasis on unmet patient needs
    • Pick up some ice cream [preferably peppermint stick or pumpkin during the holiday season]

    Note: All tasks must be done in free time/for no money and/or recognition. Failure to perform duties will result in aggravation of disease, which will contribute to cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities.

    Kristin is committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. We value and encourage diversity and solicit applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, gender, sex, age, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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