What We Do
We are an educational advocacy center. Student advocates provide advocacy to clients to help with a variety of healthcare issues. Students are supervised by interdisciplinary faculty and staff. We train professional/ graduate students in a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, law, medicine, social work, nursing, pharmacy, public affairs, psychology, biology, health systems engineering, and others. These students will go on to work in or around the health care system in their future careers.
We serve patients with life-threatening and serious illnesses and their families, regardless of income or residence. Our patient advocacy services are free. We rely upon donations to provide our advocacy services. Clients are empowered to be self-advocates, whenever possible. Client and advocate decide together what advocacy is needed and steps to be taken.
Specifically, patient advocacy includes comprehensive support to help clients: clarify diagnosis and treatment options; make evidence- and value-based medical decisions; gain access to quality healthcare; connect with community resources; negotiate coverage with healthcare stakeholders; communicate constructively with employers; assess values, strengths and priorities; identify financing options; partner with healthcare and other service providers; build their own self-advocacy skills as needed.
What We Don’t Do
We do not provide legal, medical or financial advice and we do not litigate (file lawsuit or take large cases to court). We do not provide representation in external appeals (e.g., private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, SSDI).
We provide referrals to community resources if an appropriate one exists—you are welcome to contact us for assistance! Legal referrals are also available from State Bar Associations.
What to Expect
The following steps describe the typical process in our advocacy services:
- You contact the center because you or someone you know faces a serious or life-threatening illness.
- Generally a student patient advocate will contact you to schedule a telephone appointment within two to three business days. Plan for a 30-45 minute call.
- During our intake process, a student patient advocate will talk with you by telephone to help you identify key issues, determine how urgent your case might be, collect pertinent information and identify if the advocacy services we offer are a good fit. If it becomes clear that another organization is better equipped to assist you, we’ll work to provide you with a good referral.
- We may be able to help you in just a few phone calls.
- If you need longer term advocacy you may be paired with another student patient advocate who will work with you at greater length. On average advocacy relationships last between three to five months.
- The Center works on an academic calendar. Students begin and end their time at the Center on a semester basis and sometimes may have to transfer their clients to another student patient advocate. We will prepare you for this transition if it applies in your case.
- Finally, we close a case when the role of the advocate has been satisfied, advocacy avenues have been exhausted, or when you have resolved your advocacy issues. You can reapply for services at any time in the future.
I am so grateful that I was referred to the Center. After talking with you, I physically and emotionally relaxed. I had found the resource I needed, the people I could trust, and a new foundation to stand on. I felt renewed hope.” – CPP Client Testimonial