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Governor Bredesen Declares Tennessee Patient Advocacy Day to Promote Healthcare Accessibility for All
Date:6/17/2008

Bredesen Joins National Patient Advocate Foundation in Supporting Progressive, Financially Sound and Effective Healthcare Solutions

Tennesseans to Show Their Support by Wearing Blue and Yellow Ribbons on June 19

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emphasizing the need for all patients in Tennessee to have ready access to the best possible healthcare when illness strikes, Governor Phil Bredesen, for the second consecutive year, has declared June 19 Patient Advocacy Day. Patients, caregivers and other members of Tennessee's health care community have been asked to demonstrate their support by wearing a blue or gold ribbon and will participate in this initiative to raise awareness for needed access to timely, consistent and quality healthcare for all patients, including those facing financial hardships and obstacles hindering their access to care.

This national effort is sponsored by National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), a Washington, DC based organization that works to bring a patient voice to the forefront of health policy discussions, and to help patients from all backgrounds receive the appropriate care when diagnosed with an illness. NPAF and its nationwide network of volunteers address such issues as access to clinical trials and cancer screenings; patient concerns related to Health Information Technology; and expansion of State Medicaid programs to cover those that are uninsured when diagnosed with cancer.

"We appreciate Governor Bredesen for his support and for recognizing that access to healthcare is a basic human need and a shared societal responsibility," said Wendy G. Santee, Tennessee State Policy Liaison for NPAF. "His ongoing commitment to the health of all Tennesseans serves as an example for other states."

In addition to Governor Bredesen, NPAF's efforts are being supported by Secretary of State Riley Darnell, Commissioner Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN of the Tennessee Department of Health, and Memphis Councilman Myron Lowery. Taking the initiative in Tennessee to address the varied challenges and opportunities in access to healthcare, and spearheading the state's second Patient Advocacy Day are volunteer State Policy Liaisons for NPAF, Mary Fujii of East Tennessee and Robert C. Santee, Jr. and Wendy G. Santee, of West Tennessee.

By declaring June 19 Patient Advocacy Day, Governor Bredesen offered a proclamation affirming the state's commitment to stand in voice and action as an advocate for all patients, based on principles such as:

-- Access to healthcare is a basic human need and a shared societal

responsibility--

-- All patients, even those experiencing financial hardship, need access to

timely and sustained medical care--

-- A serious diagnosis should open a patient's door to relevant

clinical information; access to the medical care system; help reaching

informed and independent decisions, and the benefits of appropriate

support--

-- Continued, collaborative, and creative efforts among all levels of

government, private industry, health care providers, and citizenry are

required to overcome the challenge of ensuring healthcare to those in

need and obstacles to progressive, fair, fiscally sound, and effective

healthcare for every citizen

Nationally, NPAF fills an important void in health policy efforts by collecting objective data within the framework of patient access that is not sourced from government or insurance companies. "Our organization is a valuable resource to legislators and others who seek to advocate for better outcomes and better lives for patients. We are available to patients both during and after a health or medical crisis," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, President and CEO of the National Patient Advocate Foundation. "We work first-hand with patients daily who have life-threatening diseases, and we know where reform is urgently needed. Fighting the illness is only one part of the struggle for these patients."

In formulating policy positions and priorities, the NPAF is guided by aggregate data collected through case management activities of its companion organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation, a national non-profit organization providing free management services, assistance and mediation for access to care, job retention, and relief from medical debt crises. PAF also offers a Co-Pay Relief program to provide direct co-payment assistance for pharmaceutical treatments to those who financially and medically qualify.

More information regarding the Patient Advocacy Day proclamation and the National Patient Advocate Foundation can be found at http://www.npaf.org. For information about the network of NPAF volunteer advocates and State Policy Liaisons, contact the NPAF headquarters in Washington, DC. Patients and families in need of mediation or case management related to a chronic or life-threatening illness can contact the Patient Advocate Foundation at (800) 532-5274 or on the web at http://www.patientadvocate.org.


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SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation
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