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Katie’s Journey – Why a Patient Advocate Is So Important

So, I was doing some research one day. We had just moved to Parish, Florida and I had asked on a generic Facebook group that I had joined. Hey, has anybody had surgery in the Tampa Bay area? I’m looking for a doctor and this heavenly person came out of the blue named Hannah and she messaged me and she goes, hey, I’d love to talk with you. I work for this great practice. We’d love to see if it would be a good fit for you and it was at that moment just talking with Hannah. I felt comfortable. I felt excited and I knew I had to get it to meet this doctor and meet Hannah. My name is Hannah Rexton I am the bariatric patient advocate here at MIIS Weight Loss Institute and I have been here since March and I absolutely love working with the bariatric patients every day. I personally had my surgery, February 6th of 2019 and so, when I found this position open up, I knew that by spending every day working with bariatric patients, that’s what I was destined to do and so, my role here at MIIS Weight Loss Institute is from the moment a patient comes in for the consultation I’m spending 10 to 15 minutes with them I’m walking them through exactly what insurance requirements they have how long it will take them to get to surgery anything else that the doctor might needs preoperatively I’m also answering questions if they feel scared or don’t know what to expect throughout their journey and then I’m also walking them through the next  steps which involves the metabolic and bariatric center next to St. Anthony’s Hospital and and the patient over there during their journey and so really from the moment they come in for their consultation to surgery and even thereafter, I’m really there to support the patient. So, Dr. Huguet and Dr. St. Julian felt like it was important to have an advocate on staff that have been through the program because when the patients are going through the program, they’re often facing people and professionals that haven’t had the surgery. They are masters at what they do as far as the dietitians go and the nurses and the doctors but having someone that is there professionally but it’s also been through it, I think is really, really important and so that’s why I remain available even after surgery if a patient calls and it’s a month after surgery but they’re experiencing you know, the fact that it might hurt after they’re eating or they can’t drink or gulp their water. Um I can really be there to say, this is normal. Um I don’t give medical advice since I’m not a nurse but as their advocate, I can say, I know that these things are normal.