When Trisha Torrey was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of lymphoma in 2004, she was a mild-mannered marketing consultant who knew almost nothing about healthcare. She was totally naïve to the dysfunction of the American healthcare system that was tasked with treating her. The result might have been devastating and life-ending had she not decided to dig in her heels and learn what she could.
Initially Trisha made every mistake a patient could make. But she got smart, fast. She learned that the possibility of excellent care was too easily and frequently eclipsed by miscommunication and mistakes. She also learned that if she didn’t stick up for herself, and insist on the help she needed, she would not get it.
Once Trisha put that cancer odyssey behind her, she decided it was up to her to sound the warning bells about the dysfunction and apply her skills to teaching others how to navigate the dangerous landscape of American healthcare. She sold her marketing company in 2006 to devote herself full time to the cause. She also began to realize that not everyone can do it themselves. Sometimes they need the help only a professional can provide.
Today Trisha calls herself “Every Patient’s Advocate.” She has written six books – two for patients (found here at the You Bet Your Life! Books website) and four for patient advocates to help them start and grow advocacy practices. She founded and directs the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and its associated Advoconnection Directory. She also speaks to groups of patients and professionals, and has been quoted by CNN, MSNBC, Forbes Magazine, O Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, NPR, Angie’s List Magazine, Bottom Line Publications, and others.
She lives in Central New York State with her husband, Butch, and her mini-mutt, Crosby. When she’s not doing her patient empowerment thing, she enjoys playing golf, travel, gardening, and working in stained glass.
• Learn more about Trisha and her work at her Every Patient’s Advocate website.
• Read her misdiagnosis story in full.