Meet Linda Winkler Garvin, RN, MSN, Patient Advocate Bay Area, California and Across the US
If you are looking for a highly experienced and detail oriented nurse advocate who can communicate your health care needs to your health care providers, research and review your potential treatment options, along with the pros and cons of each one, Linda Winkler Garvin is the nurse patient advocate you want “by your side”. She is available to provide the guidance needed for your unique health situation.
AdvoConnection recently interviewed Linda to learn more about the services she provides, and her work with patients and families.
Linda, what made you want to be a patient advocate?
I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of problem solving and medical collaboration and felt I could display the perseverance needed to overcome obstacles needed to work with many health care professionals in complex health care situations, as well as assisting and guiding individuals, who are often ignored by some individuals in our culture.
With over 30 years of experience, I started out as a registered nurse, providing direct patient care for several years including work at Stanford Hospital, taught nursing at Massachusetts General Hospital Masters Nursing Program, worked as an Administrative Nurse at the University of CA, San Francisco and did Legal Nurse Consultation, working on several of the Odwalla E-Coli cases featured on Nova.
After those experiences, I started a Workers Compensation Case Management Business for several years and then went on to become the Founder and President of Patient Advocate Bay Area in 2000.
My masters in nursing which included nurse practitioner work as well, was in understanding and working with the medical complexities of middle aged & older adults. This training included an opportunity of evaluating patients in both a home and a clinical setting.
My backgrounds of bedside patient care, case management, teaching and administrative work in major health care institutions, dovetailed nicely into starting a private business of nurse patient advocacy.
I have had the privilege of working with multiple clients and their family members over the past 20 years. I particularly value and enjoy helping middle aged and seniors with chronic heath challenges and diagnoses of cancer.
Clients have described me as a person who has a high level of kindheartedness, diligence and resourcefulness with individuals and families.
Is there a client profile you find most rewarding to work with?
I advocated for my parents for 25 years long distance. This was a detailed process, since my mother and father both had several chronic medical problems, many physicians, took multiple medications, experienced a few hospitalization, a move to an assisted living their last six years and eventually moving my mother across the country to another assisted living closer to my home.
Since I have dealt successfully with a couple of challenging health care issues myself, I am in a unique position to serve as an excellent resource on creative ways to prioritize more than one health problem, get client’s what they need from their health providers. reviewed the value of a second or third opinion, assist in developing an agenda for various medical appointments and discuss possible treatment options, based on client’s specific medical challenges, as well as providing many resources for support.
These relationships have been incredibly gratifying over the years and have resulted in many of our clients feeling more resilient after the support they received.
Do you have any success stories to share that can showcase your work and how your client benefited?
A recent experience occurred when I was contacted to assist an older parent from the Bay Area, whose middle-aged child had chronic health problems, along with a recent diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver and happened to live 2300 miles away.
The family’s goal (with agreement from my client), was to fly him across the country to a skilled nursing facility so he could be near his family in the Bay Area. My out of state client was initially hospitalized in an ICU. Initially, I provided guidance in the steps that the family would need to follow for him to fly back to the Bay Area. I kept in contact with the health care staff during my client’s ICU stay of a few days. I provided guidance in the future management of his care, as we planned for the transitions ahead.
One of my responsibilities was to find an available male bed in a Skilled Nursing Facility, close to the family’s home. My client requested that his sister take responsibility for all the medical and financial decisions. I assisted the sister by contacting an attorney her mother had worked with in the past and facilitated that power of attorney process. Due to my client’s deteriorating condition while out of state, he was transferred to a Hospice unit.
During this time, I worked closely with the nurses, social worker, physicians and the medical transport flight team, to carry out many complex tasks, and to make sure questions were addressed from both the out of state hospital and the new skilled nursing facility my client would be flown and transferred to in the following week. With detailed teamwork, my client was successfully flown out to the Bay Area and transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility and the hospice team I had set up was prepared to see him within two hours of his arrival. This provided peace of mind for both my client and his family.
Any last words to share with us?
My work is based on great advice provided by my mother when I was a teen. “It’s what’s in your heart that counts.” She shared how important it was to put others before yourself, the importance of giving and reaching out to individuals who need our help the most… children, vulnerable individuals and older folks.
Patient Advocate Bay Area understands how to support individuals and families when they need it the most… whether prior to a complicated surgery, after a serious diagnosis, whether an individual is going into hospice or leaving their home to move into an independent or assisted living or just cannot get the answers they need from the medical community. We feel privileged to have worked and helped so many individuals and families over the years and “our allegiance is always with our client”.
Linda is ready to help you or your loved one, too.
Contact Linda Garvin today.