Here's my story.

“Unprotected patients need representation, and patient advocacy offers the solution”. I wrote those words not a year ago, or five years ago, but way back when I was in college (when one couldn't so easily fix a typo using a typewriter!) . I knew early on that healthcare was a challenge for patients, and a lifetime working in that field has only made me more committed to making things better for those who are challenged by a diagnosis.

Excerpt from page one of my thesis

I understood these challenges viscerally. I’ve experienced my own medical issues, which started in my early life and have followed me since. That said, I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity and the privilege to work professionally in this domain and to have found success in many of my efforts.

A defining moment in my career came when I had the opportunity to manage the Shared Decision Making Project at Kaiser Permanente. A national program, dedicated to helping patients partner with their doctors to design their personal healthcare journey, it was the embodiment of the kind of care I had dreamed about for so many years. I continue to feel incredible gratitude for the opportunity to change so many people’s lives.

Linda Adler, 2017

And now the work continues. Many people at my stage of life are winding down, but I seem to be ramping up. I’m in the best shape of my life, having chucked my high blood pressure pills and oversized clothes after taking up exercise and a healthy diet. I also cleaned house, literally, letting go of most of my possessions: I could write a book on the Zen of downsizing! I’ve created a paperless office, and gave up much of my old work to make room for new projects. Working on the things I am most passionate about guides my professional focus now, and it’s a pleasure to sit down to work each day.

I currently devote my professional time to teaching and mentoring healthcare advocates, to Pathfinders Medical, my company that is breaking new ground in patient advocacy, and I’m excited to be embarking on another professional journey. I’ll be teaching classes at Stanford for people who need mentorship on their journey through lifestyle change. Finally, I’m writing the book that has been elusive to me until now: the words have been there forever, it was just hard to get them on the page! I’d love to share my chapters with you as I go: stay tuned to see what I’m up to, and let me know if I’m on the right track!

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