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National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC) Launched
Date:7/30/2009

BERKELEY, Calif., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC), the nation's first professional association for people working as healthcare and patient advocates, was launched today in response to the need for a professional forum to create healthcare consumer protection standards and promote this rapidly growing field. The announcement was made by Association founder Joanna Smith, LCSW, MPH, CEO of Healthcare Liaison, Inc., a private healthcare advocacy practice.

"As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, more individuals are entering the field to assist consumers who have problems navigating the healthcare maze," says Smith. "There is a real need now to establish professional standards, and to make the public aware of services provided by members of the profession."

According to Smith, the Association recognizes that there are currently people with many types of experience and training who assist individuals with healthcare issues. These include medically trained healthcare advocates, patient advocates in non-profits; individuals who have learned "on the job" helping a friend or family member as a patient advocate; researchers and educators, and advocates working in the fields of public policy and legislation.

"Each of these groups brings a unique contribution, specialization or focus to this growing field, and each is critical to the development of the profession," affirms Smith. "NAHAC embraces this multiplicity of approaches, recognizing that, in the end, the public will have a wide choice of services and advocates, and this diversity of approaches enhances the profession."

NAHAC is based in Berkeley, California. Membership is open to those who are interested in the field of healthcare advocacy, including medical professionals, consumer advocates, people in academia and rese
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SOURCE National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants
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