For many, going to the doctor can be difficult. Especially when trying to remember or understand all the information the doctor imparts – in complex medical terms – and being able to follow those instructions. JFCS offers a remedy to this very dilemma: the Patient Partners Program, funded by the Raymond & Gertrude R. Saltzman Foundation, Community Foundation of South Jersey Aging Innovation Fund, Area VII Physicians Review Organization, Inc./HQSI, and Prime Homecare.
The Patient Partners program will pair trained volunteers with clients to accompany the patient to his or her doctor appointments. The volunteer will be trained to record, relay, and share the information of the visits with the patient and the patient’s family, if needed. The advocate will help decipher the medical jargon, and act as a support person to the patient.
WATCH: Patient Partners Gives Independence and Peace of Mind
Since the program’s inception, patients who have used Patient Partners are finding better outcomes from their appointments, with an increased commitment to treatment plans and medication regimens, and a much-improved understanding of their health matters.
The program was conceived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and JFCS is one of the first agencies in the area to launch it in the Northeast. The Patient Partners program is now accepting and training volunteer advocates to accompany patients to medical appointments. Training covers common health issues, medical terminology, honing listening and communication skills with medical personnel, and confidentiality and ethics.
Patients needing assistance, or those wishing to volunteer to be a patient advocate should contact Suzi Abrams at 856-424-1333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.