Guided Patient Services
Patient Advocacy & Navigation
As life-altering news was given to me, I was alone. I was not sure what I heard or even what appropriate questions to ask of the medical professionals. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Annette Ticoras of Guided Patient Services. She was the calm, knowledgeable, and patient person that navigated me through the devastating medical jargon, expected and unexpected procedures and doctor visits. At a time when your mind is racing, but you are in shock, I highly recommend Annette to be the one to help guide you and your family through the overpowering situation.
As the primary caretaker for my family, I was at a loss when I was suddenly faced with a serious medical diagnosis. We all wanted to be certain that I was receiving the best care and emotional support, while being well informed and confident in my healthcare decisions. That is where my advocate, Annette, stepped in. She provided knowledgeable, objective and timely translation of all my appointments and treatment regimens– not just for me, but for my family as well.
Additionally, she gave the emotional support I needed, while patiently and compassionately walking me through the storm. Having an advocate provided a comfortable connection between me and the healthcare system. She was able to listen objectively, take notes, prompt questions and confirm my understanding during physician visits. Her ability to put me at ease was a gift. With knowledge and understanding came less worry for me and my family.
When I called Annette, I was feeling overwhelmed, underwater, and fearful of what the future might hold. I had no idea what steps to take next. There were so many decisions to be made about places, doctors and care. All of these decisions had to be made quickly, as well. I found it very difficult to make decisions when I was emotionally involved. Everything fell on me–the caregiver.
I felt like I needed to partner with someone during this difficult journey. I needed someone to be another set of ears and eyes in meetings and medical situations. I needed an objective person to help me ask questions because I was too involved to even think of the right questions to ask. I was so burdened that I couldn’t focus. A friend suggested that I get an advocate to help me.
Since Annette started working with me, we have overcome many obstacles and been faced with innumerable health care choices and decisions. Options regarding available treatments and optimal care are carefully researched, pursued, and discussed. Care appointments for my husband are coordinated, while vital medical team meetings and communications are handled efficiently by Annette, who always keeps me well-informed. With Annette’s medical knowledge and clinical experience, I am now confident in the choices I make for my husband today and for the future.
After two major surgeries and an additional hospitalization due to an infection caused by the second surgery – all within the span of nine months – I found Annette Ticoras at Guided Patient Services and hired her to help me navigate the onslaught of confusing information I was getting about my condition. A few days later, I was back in the Emergency Room, and Annette immediately came to the hospital to meet with me. She asked relevant questions to get to know me, my medical history, and my current symptoms, and she reviewed my 600+ pages of pertinent medical records. By the time I was admitted for surgery #3 the following day, she was fully up-to-date on all of my medical information.
After researching my situation, Annette was able to explain to me in layman’s terms what was happening and what the surgeon was going to do. She also asked my surgeon questions that never would have occurred to me despite how crucial they were. She was an invaluable resource. As if that weren’t enough, she was also thoughtful, compassionate, and genuine. Though I know she had other clients at the time, she made me feel like I was the only one and her top priority. I had only known her for a matter of hours, but I already considered her a trusted friend.
After my surgery, she visited me at the hospital and continued to check in with me periodically to make sure I was okay. When she went with me to my follow-up visit with my surgeon, her presence prompted him to answer questions much more thoroughly and treat me with more respect than he ever had in the past.
I find that when my health is at its very worst, I’m inevitably expected to make the most important and potentially life-altering health decisions. But that’s when I’m at my weakest and least capable and when I need help the most. It’s times like that when a patient advocate like Annette is akin to a real-life fairy godmother.
I’ll never be able to thank you enough for all of your help!