CNN’s Heroes of Patient Empowerment. A Humble Thank You.

There aren’t many times that I am left speechless, but this is one of them.

If you are a regular reader of CNN’s Empowered Patient, offered each week by Elizabeth Cohen, then you know there have been any number of outstanding advocates featured. People who work tirelessly to improve our safety, access and navigation through the dysfunctional American healthcare system. Some are healthcare professionals, others are patients just like you and me. Many have lost someone to the system or have suffered a medical error.

This week Elizabeth highlighted six advocates and called them “Empowered Heroes,” citing the fact that each has taken a negative experience with healthcare to transform it into a way to help others. I am privileged to be among them.

Take a moment to read about the other heroes:  Victoria and Armando Nahum who lost their very healthy son to a MRSA infection and now work tirelessly to prevent hospital and community acquired infections, Dr. Tom Ferguson who built one of the first health websites ever created, and coined the term “e-patients,” Ysabel Duron who recognized the need for cancer support among the Latino community, Gilles Frydman who founded ACOR, the Association of Online Cancer Resources, and Michael Cohen who, early on, recognized the problem of prescription drug errors and founded the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

It’s an honor, a privilege, and in many ways I believe “I’m not worthy!” Well. OK. I’m just not so worthy as so many others. Because this list is only six people.  There are dozens of advocates who work on behalf of all of us to improve the system.

I can only say thank you for the recognition, and — now you know why I am left speechless.

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Trisha Torrey
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