HealthAdvocateX (formerly WASHAA)

Second Opinion: When, Why and How to Obtain One

Second Opinion: When, Why and How to Obtain One

Online webinar
Approval date: March 13, 2019 (Expiration date: April 3, 2021)
Approved Program Content: 1 CE

Course Description: Recognize when to seek a 2nd opinion, explain the steps needed to obtain one, discuss approaches to identifying the right 2nd opinion provider(s), and identify ways to use the 2nd opinion for better care.

Presenter bio: Io Dolka, MS is passionate about helping people obtain an accurate diagnosis and manage their complex conditions. Her drive can be traced back to her own decade-long medical struggles, going from health to bed-ridden sickness and back. A pioneer in the advocacy industry, she is the Founder and Chief Care Advocate of GreyZone, LLC., co-founder and past Executive Director of WASHAA, and an active member of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, Patient Engagement Committee.

Learning objectives/ How webinar relates to Competencies and Best Practices for BCPA

  1. Recognize when to seek a 2nd opinion: BCPA Competencies 2A; 2F; 2G; 5C; 5G
  2. Explain the steps needed to obtain one: BCPA Competencies 3B; 3H; 3I
  3. Discuss approaches to identifying the right 2nd opinion provider(s): BCPA Competencies 2B; 4B; 4E; 4K; 5C
  4. Identify ways to use the 2nd opinion for better care: BCPA Competencies 2F; 2G; 3B; 3H; 4B; 4E
Financial Toxicity

Approval Statement: WASHAA Webinar Financial Toxicity is approved for 1.0 CEs by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Approval Date:           November 19, 2019-November 18, 2021 (Expiration Date)

Program Overview:

  1. In 2017 out-of-pocket healthcare spending grew by 8.5 percent year-over-year, the fastest increase since 2014.
  2. Over the last three years, spending increased by an average annual rate of 5.8 percent.
  3. Dana Hutson, CEO of Cancer Champions, LLC and Board Certified Patient Advocate, shares her passion for helping people feel prepared, and confident in navigating an increasingly complex healthcare system.

During the presentation:

How to mitigate the “Financial Toxicity” of Innovative medicine? Dana will provide practical tips and resources to mitigate the effects of higher out of pocket healthcare costs.

Highlights of the presentation include:

  • Understanding what is driving costs
  • Identifying the risk factors
  • Practical tips and resources to reduce the financial stress induced by higher out of pocket medical costs

Dana Hutson is Founder of Cancer Champions, LLC helping individuals and families gain clarity in the confusion of a cancer diagnosis.  She compassionately consults, educates and facilitates for individuals and their loved ones as they navigate a complicated healthcare system empowering them to make life-altering decisions with confidence.  Prior to founding Cancer Champions Dana amassed a wealth of oncology expertise over a 25-year career within the BioPharma industry.

She combines her unique knowledge of the healthcare system with her compassion for people experiencing a disruptive diagnosis to provide private medical navigation and educational seminars.

Dana is a CampaignZERO, families for patient safety, community educator, immediate Past- President of the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater DC and serves on the boards of Sahasara Deepika Foundation for Education and Sa

Meets BCPA Competencies and Ethical Standards

Understanding what is driving costs

2. Empowerment, Autonomy, Rights and Equity (a,f, i.)

Identifying the risk factors

4. Healthcare Access, Finance, and Management (a,b,d,e,f,g,k,l)

Practical tips and resources to reduce the financial stress induced by higher out of pocket medical costs

5. Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System (d)


Understanding Pain & Healing - WASHAA 7th Annual Conference

Approval Statement: WASHAA 7th Annual Conference, “Understanding Pain & Healing” is approved for 6.0 CEs by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA).

Note: The full conference as well as several individual sessions from this conference are available on-demand at

Approval Date:          October 17, 2019-October 16, 2020 (Expiration Date)

Program Overview:

Bridging the Pain – Healing through Empathy (Dora Gyamati, BS) .5 CEU

  • Evoke empathy and understanding toward people who suffer pain
  • Identify how emotions, mind, and culture can change perception of pain.
  • Learn how to practice awareness of the whole person to effectively support someone in pain better.

Supports BCPA Competencies: 3A, 3F, 3I

What Is Pain: Why Is it Difficult for Everyone? (David Tauben, MD) 1 CEU

  • Understand the neurobiological, psychological, and social mechanisms involved in the experience of pain
  • Describe modern assessment strategies for comprehensive pain diagnosis
  • Identify individual and system barriers and myths leading to ineffective doctor-patient communication about pain

Supports BCPA Competencies: 3E, 3F, 4A, 4E, 5A

Managing Pain During the Opioid Overdose Crisis (Steven Stanos, DO)  1 CEU

  • Understand the dual public health challenges of the opioid overdose epidemic and high prevalence of poorly controlled chronic pain.
  • Be familiar with non-pharmacologic strategies to help decrease and manage chronic pain including cognitive behavioral therapy, physical and occupational therapy, relaxation training, and mind-body interventions like Tai Chi.
  • Understand recent state and federal initiatives to improve the management of pain and opioid addiction
  • Identify different types of pain include pain from nerve injury, joint damage, and central changes in the nervous system like fibromyalgia.

Supports BCPA Competencies: 1E, 2D, 2F, 2H, 2I

Navigating the Language of Pain  (Sharna Prasad DPT)  1 CEU

  • Participants will be able to identify the value of metaphors used by their clients.
  • Participant will be able to determine which word to explore in their client’s narrative that will give them an insight to their story.
  • Apprise and assess role of the language of pain in learning and future behaviors.

Supports BCPA Competencies: 2D, 2G, 3A, 3B

The Leading Edge of Health Advocacy: WASHAA and National Efforts  (Robin Shapiro) .5 CEU

  • Understand how WASHAA can help support development of advocacy practice
  • Identify new WA-specific and National resources for advocates and patients
  • Learn about trends in patient inquiries, reflecting patient interests in patient and health advocacy

Supports BCPA Competencies: 6C; 6E; 6F

Integrative Strategies to Address Pain and Healing (Steve Overman)  1 CEU

  • To describe what Integrated Care means
  • To understand the importance in balancing active and passive therapies
  • Experience and recognize components of mind-body connection exercises
  • Identify benefits of movement and healing
  • Learn some of the early research about the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis appears to affect pain

Supports BCPA Competencies:  2D, 2F, 3E, 5A

Creating A Safe Haven Workshop (David Hanscom) 1 CEU

  • Delineate the neurochemical nature of anxiety
  • Understand the underpinnings of why mental pain is considered a bigger problem than physical pain – anxiety is the pain
  • Present practical tools to regulate your body’s chemistry – end result is feeling safe
  • Practice techniques in small groups
  • Understand the importance of learning to enjoy treating chronic pain

Supports BCPA Competencies: 3A; 3E; 3I, 5A


Dora Gyamati, BS

Dora is an ERYT and the owner of Spira Power Yoga® studio. She is the inventor of M3B Method®; a mindfulness-based philosophy and training methodology, the backbone of Spira Power Yoga®. Dora’s European heritage and education in both the sciences and in the humanities created a unique style. This style blends Eastern and Western theological, literary and scientific traditions that are reflected in both her yoga teaching and mindfulness lectures.

Dora is also the CEO and the Director at Spira Mindful Wellness.™ a subsidiary of Spira Power Yoga. With over 15 years of experience, Dora has developed multiple lectures on stress management, resilience, meditation, and interpersonal awareness. Weaving, Eastern and Western Philosophy, psychology, yoga, and neuroscience.

Dora Gyarmati founded Spira Power Yoga in West Seattle’s Admiral Neighborhood in 2011 and expanded to Issaquah at the beginning of 2019. Inspired by the benefits of mindfulness practice in the Spira community, Dora decided to expand outside of the yoga studio walls.  In 2018 Dora spun off a sister company to Spira Power Yoga, Spira Mindful Wellness, which specializes in creating unique lecture series on stress management, resilience training, to fit your community.

She fell in love with yoga, but quickly realized that it needed to be “updated” to keep it safe anatomically, and to meet the lifestyle needs of people in the 21st century. Over the years, Dora developed her own methodology: M3B Method®.   Mindful Movement Meditation and Breathing is the fruit of 15 years of studying yoga, philosophy, anatomy, neuroscience and mindfulness.  Dora has a BA in Art History and a BS in Neurobiology from the University of California San Diego.  She worked in immunology research prior to her business and yoga career.

David Tauben, MD

David Tauben, M.D., FACP is Chief of the University of Washington Division of Pain Medicine, jointly appointed Clinical Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, and the Hughes M & Katherine G Blake Endowed Professor.  He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pain Medicine. Dr. Tauben is also UW Director of Medical Student Education in Pain Medicine and leads UW TelePain, an innovative tele-video-conferencing program delivering pain and addiction management educational consultative support to Pacific Northwest primary care providers.  He is principal investigator for the UW’s NIH Pain Consortium Center of Excellence for Pain Education, and a recently elected Board member of the American Pain Society.  Dr. Tauben was a member of the NIH National Pain Strategy task force on Pain Education, founding and continuing member of the State of Washington Agency Medical Directors panel of clinician experts developing opioid prescription guidelines for chronic pain. He was a peer reviewer for 2018 AHRQ report on Noninvasive Nonpharmacological Treatment for Chronic Pain.  Dr. Tauben is an expert for US Centers for Disease Control clinical outreach activities supporting education and implementation of effective and safe opioids prescribing practices for management of acute and chronic pain.

Steven Stanos, DO

Steven P. Stanos, DO currently serves as Medical Director of Swedish Health System Pain Medicine and Services in Seattle, Washington and leads Swedish’s comprehensive pain center, Swedish Pain Services. The center provides interventional pain management, medical management, addiction treatment, and comprehensive interdisciplinary pain services.  Prior to joining Swedish, he served as medical director of the Center for Pain Management at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) from 2002-2014. At RIC, he was an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University Medical School Feinberg School of Medicine and co-chair of the multidisciplinary pain fellowship. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine by the American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Anesthesia.

Dr. Stanos is a Past President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Dr. Stanos served as a panel member on the Service Delivery and Reimbursement work group for the National Pain Strategy and as invited consultant for the CDC Opioid Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. He currently serves on the American Medical Association (AMA) Opioid Task Force.  Dr. Stanos’ work includes ongoing educational initiatives for primary care, pain medicine, and physical medicine specialists around the United States and abroad. Dr. Stanos has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters related to pain management. Steven has been involved in the development and publication of treatment guidelines related to rehabilitation approaches for chronic pain and low back pain conditions and serves on the editorial board for the journal Pain Medicine.  A Mayday Foundation Advocacy fellow in 2013, his advocacy continues to focus on increasing awareness and access for interdisciplinary bio psychosocially-based pain care for patients suffering with chronic pain. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, regional print and television news on topics related to pain medicine and rehabilitation.

Sharna Prasad DPT

Sharna Prasad has been a PT for 32 yrs. She has a personal chronic pain experience. She works at Lebanon Community Hospital. She is the Co-founder of MMAPS (a PT run persistent pain group Movement, mindfulness and pain science)  She is currently working with a grant to raise awareness, of Opioid abuse, Pain and Healthy Self-care, in High Schools of Corvallis. She is also organizing the 2nd Oregon Pain Summit in Lebanon in Jan 2020.

Robin Shapiro

Robin believes that health care advocacy in the near future will be a common skill that people develop to help have the best outcome possible. Robin has worked in health care-related public relations, public affairs, crisis management, marketing and advocacy work since 1988. She founded Health Advocacy Strategies and co-founded Health Perspectives Group LLC, an award-winning family of healthcare engagement and technology companies.  It is through her work helping patients communicate their health care stories, goals and wishes that led her to co-found Allied Health Advocates in 2008, the first independent health advocacy company for patients wanting to hire a private advocate.  Her visionary approach to engaging people in their health care led her to create companies, programs and a not-for-profit organization to ultimately support the idea of helping people with medical navigation and decision-making. Robin previously led health-related programs at Immunex Corporation and Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs.   She currently is the Board Chair of the Washington State Health Advocacy Association (WASHAA). She also serves on the Seattle University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Board.  Robin holds two bachelor degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia.


  • Co-Author of the Annual Health & Patient Advocate Survey 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Developer and Presenter for a variety of health advocacy related talks, including: The ABCs of an Effective Doctor Visit; Patient No More!; the Volunteer Health Advocate Training Program.
  • Safe & Sound in the Hospital Educator for Campaign Zero
  • Seattle University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center Board Member
  • International Women’s Forum (WA Forum), Member, VP Programs and 2021 Conference Behind the Scenes Chair
  • Eldergrow Board Member, a company that sells large-format mobile gardens to nursing and assisted living facilities to help residents with cognition and mental health.

Steve Overman, MD, MPH

Dr. Steve Overman is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at University of Washington, Senior Adviser to KenSci, Inc., consultant to SEARHC (SE AK Regional Health Consortium), author and speaker. He practiced rheumatology over 35 years and was the founding member of The Seattle Arthritis Clinic (TSAC). He helped organized the Arthritis Resource Center and the Center for Comprehensive Care, which along with TSAC, were all integrated care programs. As medical director for Network Health Plan, Northwest Hospital Musculoskeletal Program and then QualisHealth, he focused on improving complex musculoskeletal care value. With patients he filmed a Discovery Channel Mystery Diagnosis program, co-authored a book, You Don’t LOOK Sick! Living Well with Invisible Chronic Illness, and twice teamed up to cycle the Oregon Coast for the Arthritis Foundation. Dr. Steve’s public health interests have led him to volunteer internationally in China, India, Nepal, Honduras, and Peru and locally with the Arthritis Foundation, International District and NeighborCare Community Clinics.

Brad Lichtenstein, ND, BCB, BCB-HRV

As a licensed naturopathic physician and professor at Bastyr University for over two decades, Dr. Lichtenstein helps people embody the lives they want to live. He supervises the Mind-Body Medicine and Chronic Pain Clinics at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health and his clinical and teaching focus is on developing psycho-emotional-spiritual health while dealing with chronic, life-challenging illnesses. His approach to care was shaped by his research experience of providing over 500 guided meditations to hospice patients.

Garth Terry, MD, PhD

Garth Terry, MD, PhD, is Acting Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at University of Washington School of Medicine, and a Physician/Research Associate at VA Puget Sound. His doctoral dissertation focused on development and validation on of a positron emission tomography radiotracer for imaging cannabinoid CB1 receptors in human brain. Dr. Terry continues to research novel medications and neuroimaging techniques for neuropsychiatric disorders and educates healthcare providers and the public on topics related to cannabis.

David Hanscom, MD

Dr. David Hanscom is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine problems. Much of his practice is devoted to performing surgery on patients with failed spine surgeries. He practices at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA.  He has published a book, Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain that is the basis of the structured program for both mental and physical pain. His website is His new book, “Do You Really Spine Surgery – Advice from a Surgeon” will be released this fall.

Training – His medical degree is from Loma Linda University in 1979.  His orthopedic training was done at the University of Hawaii. He has been performing complex spinal surgery since 1986.

Structured Spine Care – Around 2001 he began to share his own stress management tools with his patients that were in pain but had no indications for surgery. By 2006 a structured spine treatment protocol evolved. It was named the DOC project (Direct your Own Care).




Whole Person Advocacy: Integrating Mental Health - Virtual National Conference Annual Conference

Approval Statement: WASHAA/HealthAdvocateX Annual Conference, “Whole Person Advocacy: Integrating Mental Health” is approved for 10 General and 1 Ethics CE (for the live program) and 9 General and 1 Ethics for the on-demand version of the program. These CEs satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA), approval code 18086.

Note: The full conference as well as several individual sessions from this conference are available on-demand at: COMING SOON 

Approval Date:          November 5, 2020-November 4, 2022 (Expiration Date)

Program Overview:

Session 1 – The Dynamic Field of Health Advocacy (Robin Shapiro) 1.0 CE

Description – The field of health advocacy is a growing field, with many national organizations to help patients and advocates navigate care.  In this session, Robin Shapiro will help review the major national organizations and how each can help individuals and advocates support patient navigation and care.  There will be a discussion about how health advocacy can help diverse patient populations.  Identification of national organization, credentialing, and efforts to grow the field will also be addressed.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the major national organizations, their roles, and opportunities to support advocates and patients
  • Learn the history and status of credentialing of Health and Patient Advocates
  • Determine how to find advocates that can address diverse patient needs

Supports BCPA Competencies: 3A, 3F, 3I

Session 2 – The National Advocate Networking Event – 1 CEU (live event only)

Description – There are now thousands of practicing advocates and more than 600+ Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPAs) throughout the country.  Yet, the public knows little about the skillsets and value patient advocates provide. The Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) will lead this live networking session focusing on shared best practices, knowledge, and skills with advocates from across the country. Join us to connect and learn from one another.

Course Objectives:

  • To meet other advocates to increase collaboration in this field.
  • To share and learn about best patient advocate practices from throughout the country
  • Understand the importance of a Role & Function Study

Presenters: Melissa Cardine MSN, RN, BCPA, President-Elect, PACB; Christine North, PhD, MPH, BCPA, President, PACB

Supports BCPA Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Session 3.A- Addiction: The Hidden Prevalence and Practical Tips for Change – 1 Ethics CE

Course Description – In this presentation you will learn about the prevalence of addiction, understand addiction as a disease and not a lack of willpower. Debbie will discuss how to talk with someone you care about regarding addiction and the impact on whole person health (medical, mental health and spiritual health). Debbie will discuss treatment options and an integrated model of care being utilized by the Walker Center in rural Idaho.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn the prevalence of addiction
  • Define what addiction is an is not
  • Learn how to talk to a loved one, family or friend about addiction
  • Learn options for treatment, Levels of care, Medication Assisted Therapy
  • Learn Walker Center capitation model (HOPE Project)

Presenter: Deborah Thomas

Supports BCPA Competencies: 

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice
  • Ethical Standard 8

3.B-When the Diagnosis is Dementia: Understanding and Action – 1 CE

Description – Signs of dementia’s onset typically begin several years prior to diagnosis; often creating frazzled nerves and strained relationships long before understanding of why. We will share some key aspects of the brain changes occurring for the Person Living with Dementia (PLwD) and how these show up in personality and behavioral changes. And then, how that knowledge can support more ease in daily activities, as well as retained intimacy and connection between all involved.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the 3 areas of the brain most significant in understanding behavioral changes in early-stages of dementia
  • Name 2 changes a well-partner can make in their approach to the PLwD
  • Identify 2 ways this knowledge can improve the well-partner’s well-being

Presenter: Annie K Jacobsen

Supports BCPA Competencies:

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

3.C – Food and Mood: Scientific Strategies and Clinical Applications – 1.0 C

Description – Your brain is the center of your nervous system, maintaining control over other organs in your body, regulating sensory information and muscle activity. When brain health is impaired, you can experience mood imbalances including depression and anxiety. This presentation will describe the various impacts that food choices can have on the brain and practical strategies to overcome cravings and emotional eating. Participants will learn how to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to bolster brain health.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the meaning behind eating a rainbow of foods and why diversity in foods impacts mental health.
  • Differentiate emotional and physical hunger and why it is important to understand the difference in nourishing the body.
  • Demonstrate the role of stress and emotions in food selection and impact on the body

Presenter: Dr. Deanna Minich

Supports BCPA Competencies: Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

3.D – Mind-Body Approaches to Mental Health – 1 CE

Description – Pandemics, social injustice, online schooling and meetings, wildfires… How do we take care of ourselves to sustainably be of service to others? Caregivers experience some of the highest levels of inflammatory cytokines, which will result in symptoms and decreases quality of care. Dr. Brad will explore the importance of self-regulation and share simple skills that can be done anywhere, and taught to anyone, to settle the nervous system and restore some semblance of balance.

Course Objectives:

  • Define self-regulation and resiliency
  • Describe the polyvagal theory and how it relates to mind-body techniques that regulate nervous system
  • Describe the science behind simple breathing practices that increase vagal tone (parasympathetic) and then facilitate a practice of these.

Presenter: Brad S Lichtenstein

Supports BCPA Competencies:

  • Domain 3 Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

3.E – How Nature Heals – 1 CE

Description – Nature-based therapies have gained significant momentum in recent decades. From horticultural therapy to forest bathing, these therapies help to improve memory, reduce depression, improve recovery, and aid in pain management. In addition to the non-pharmacological benefits, nature therapy rejuvenates the spirit and provides a renewed sense of purpose. Participants will hear about evidence-based studies that support the use of nature therapies and demonstrate simple techniques that positively impact the quality of life in healthcare.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn key, evidence-based studies that validate nature therapy.
  • Understand different examples of both active and passive nature interventions
  • Examine different types of nature interventions and how they can be easily used for our health and well-being

Presenter: Orla Concannon

Supports BCPA Competencies:

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Session 4 – Trauma-Informed CARE – 1 CE

Description – This brief workshop will provide an overview of trauma and trauma symptomology. We will then take a deep dive into recognizing trauma, identifying practices and processes that may be traumatizing or retraumatizing, and approaching our work as trauma informed providers. Participants will learn what is needed to implement a trauma-informed care approach, creating an environment wherein both patients and providers work together from a strength-based and wellness framework to ensure improved health outcomes and wellbeing.

Course Objectives:

  • Define trauma and microaggressions and the relationship between them
  • Understand resilience and the role it plays in coping with trauma
  • Identify methods to incorporate trauma-informed practices into your work.

Presenter: Michele P. Andrasik

Supports BCPA Competency or Ethical Standard:

  • Domain 3 Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Session 5 – Integrating Mental Health into Primary Care: Research and Reality – 1 CE

Description – Behavioral health problems such as depression, anxiety and substance use disorders are among the most common and disabling health conditions worldwide. Fortunately, there are effective, evidence-based integrated care approaches, such as Collaborative Care, that deliver mental health care in primary care settings. This presentation will review the core principles of evidence-based integrated care and how this approach is an important part of the solution for increased mental health care access.

 Course Objectives:

  • Discuss the challenges in mental health access, including for disparity populations, that are addressed by an integrated care approach.
  • List the core principles of evidence-based integrated care.
  • Name the core integrated care team member roles and responsibilities.

 Presenter: Anna Ratzliff; Ginger Jones

 Supports BCPA Competency or Ethical Standard:

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Session 6 – Integrating Mental Health: System Barriers & Solutions – 1 CE

Description – The presentation will describe efforts to support behavioral health and physical health integration at a system level.  The presentation will provide an overview of the system changes required to support whole person care in medical and behavioral health settings, including identifying barriers and strategies to advance integration goals. It will include key takeaways for advocates.

Course Objectives: 

  • Understand the areas that are key system barriers to coordination between medical and behavioral health providers.
  • Recognize the role of health plans to advance whole person care.
  • Recognize how health advocates and providers can support integration.

Presenter: Connie Mom-Chhing; Stephanie Shushan; Ethan Seracka

Supports BCPA Competency or Ethical Standard:

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Session 7 – Tools for Health, Wellbeing, and Resilience: Before, During, and After Covid-19 – 1 CE

Description – Join Banister Advisors for an informative review of the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses that that individuals and groups experience during a crisis.  This one-hour course explores how humans are hard-wired to manage stressful situations and how the mind-body connection manifests through emotional distress and behavioral challenges.  Participants will also deepen their understanding of how self-awareness, curiosity, routine, and opportunity can help people build resilience during uncertain times.

Course Objectives:

  • List three possible physical symptoms of stress-induced anxiety
  • Define the four basic types of behavioral responses to threatening situations
  • Identify the 6 major types of grief and how they relate to circumstances currently facing individuals who identify as part of marginalized communities in the US (e.g. Black people, people living with disabilities, immigrants/refugees, etc.)

Presenter: Vanessa Laughlin; Gregory Whiting; Gioia Gonzalez

Supports BCPA Competency or Ethical Standard:

  • Domain 5 Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Domain 6 Professionalism, Professional Development, and Practice

Presenter Bios

Robin Shapiro believes that health advocacy will be a common skill that people develop to help achieve the best health possible. She has worked in health care-related public relations, public affairs, crisis management, marketing, and health advocacy since 1988. She is founder of award- winning healthcare engagement companies. She co-founded and is the Board Chair of the Washington State Health Advocacy Association (WASHAA). Robin is also a public speaker and published author.

Melissa Cardine MSN, RN, BCPA – Melissa is the founder of The Bridge RN Patient Advocates. She enjoys listening to patients, families, and caregivers along with collaborating with healthcare professionals. Melissa co-founded The Bridge Health Advocates providing health advocacy and business training. Melissa was selected to be a PACB Board Member in November 2019. She is currently the President-elect and will become President in November 2020. Her passion for advocacy is evident in her daily interactions with all those she meets.

Christine L. North, PhD, MPH – Dr. North currently serves as President of PACB and is Professor Health Communication and Public Health at Ohio Northern University. She has taught in the area of health communication and cross-cultural communication as well as the ethics of international aid. Much of her work has involved work in public health settings in developing communities in international settings.  Chris has served as a member of the Patient Advocate Certification Board since 2016 and as President since 2018.

Deborah Thomas, LPC, CADC, MAC – Debbie is the CEO of the Walker Center and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor holding a NAADAC credential as MAC (Master Addiction Counselor).  Debbie has worked in the behavioral health field for over 30 years with focus in substance abuse treatment programs and quality assurance. Debbie utilizes her knowledge to advocate for system changes and individual and family needs. Debbie is committed to giving back and currently serves on the Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Counselor’s Certification, is Central Regional Director for Idaho NAADAC Association of Addiction Professionals, serves on the Executive Committee for the Idaho Region 5 Behavioral Health Board and is the President of the Woman’s CEO Global Alliance.

Annie Jacobsen – Annie has been in the senior care field for over 15 years. She is the founder of both Assisted Transitions and Jacobsen Dementia Care Coaching, and she has held leadership positions at SHAG Affordable Senior Housing, Rosewood Courte Memory Care and Home Care Assistance. Annie has a BA from UW and an MA from Antioch University.

Dr. Deanna Minich, MS, PhD, FACN, CNS, IFMCP – Dr. Deanna Minich is an internationally-recognized teacher, author, scientist, speaker, and artist.  She has more than 20 years of diverse, well-rounded experience in the fields of nutrition and functional medicine, including clinical practice, research, product formulation, writing, and education. Currently, she is Faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine and the University of Western States. Minich’s passion is teaching a whole-self approach to nourishment and bridging the gaps between science, spirituality, and art in medicine.

Brad S Lichtenstein, ND BCB BCB-HRV – Owner of The BreathSPACE, Professor at Bastyr University. As a licensed naturopathic physician and professor at Bastyr University for over 25 years, Dr. Lichtenstein has a strong clinical and teaching focus on developing psycho-emotional-spiritual health while dealing with chronic, life-challenging illnesses and trauma. Dr. Lichtenstein has written many publications and contributed a chapter on Mind-Body Medicine and Men’s Health in Integrative Men’s Health. He continues to present nationally on the use of meditation, breathwork, HRV and biofeedback to increase resiliency.

Orla Concannon, Founder & CEO of Eldergrow – an innovative Seattle-based company that brings nature indoors to elders in senior living communities. With extensive experience in the senior living and healthcare fields, Orla is a lifelong advocate for our elders. She is dedicated to fighting ageism and providing a sense of purpose and hope through meaningful connections to nature, ultimately resulting in the creation of Eldergrow in 2015, which is now in nearly 300 communities across the U.S.

Michele P. Andrasik, PhD, EdM – a clinical health psychologist, is the Director of Social Behavioral Sciences and Community Engagement for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and COVID-19 Prevention Network, Senior Staff Scientist in the Fred Hutchinson Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division and Affiliate Clinical Professor in the University of Washington Global Health department. She received her PhD in Clinical Health Psychology from the University of Miami and master’s Degrees in Health Education and Psychological Counseling from Columbia University.

Dr. Anna Ratzliff is a national expert on collaborative care and specifically, on training teams to implement and deliver mental health treatment in primary care settings. She currently is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, Director of the UW Psychiatry Resident Training Program, Co-Director of the AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) and Director of the UW Integrated Care Training Program for residents and fellows.

Ginger Jones is the co-founder and CEO of MyCare Alliance. She is also the Co-founder of Diversified Nurse Consultants LLC, Peggy’s Place LLC, Bucks Building LLC, and Fourth T&G Ventures LLC. Ginger began her career as a registered nurse in 1994 and has held leadership roles in multiple areas of practice including long term care, home health, intensive care, and care management through which she has obtained keen insights into the inner workings of the healthcare system. These insights along with the personal hardships in the healthcare system she experienced with two of her children inspired Ginger’s passion to develop new models of service delivery and innovative solutions. Since 2011, Ginger has co-led the growth of DNC from a solo practice to a $4M organization and was the visionary who brought the Alliance co- founders together. Ginger is a Certified Case Manager, and Certified Life Care Planner and is an active member in the following professional organizations: Case Management Society of America, American Association of Nurse Life Care Planners, National Care Planning Council, Aging Life Care Association, American Nurses Association, and Indiana Nurses Association.

Connie Mom-Chhing, DM, MPH serves as Director, Integrated Managed Care for Community Health Plan of Washington. She provides strategic direction for statewide rollout of integrated behavioral, medical services, and social determinants of health in multiple regions. Connie was a former Chief Behavioral Health Officer for Columbia United Providers, CEO of Southwest Washington Behavioral Health, and Administrator for Clark County Regional Support Network. Currently, she serves on NAMI National Board of Directors.

Stephanie Shushan, Community Health Plan of Washington is Senior Analyst Managing programs, developing, and implementing strategies to advance integration of behavioral health and physical health and telehealth in the healthcare safety net across Washington State. She supports providers in improving clinical outcomes through training, technical assistance, process improvement and advocacy.

Ethan Seracka MS, LMFT, MHP, Director Whole Health and Innovation at Sound- With 13 plus years of experience in community behavioral health, Ethan draws upon his experience with: co-occurring disorder treatment, individual, couple and family therapy, community reintegration post-institutionalization and crisis services to develop integrated care and health management for Sound. Ethan is a graduate of Arizona State University and East Carolina University with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.   

Vanessa Laughlin, Principal & Founder – Vanessa’s nearly 20-year professional background spans strategy development, implementation planning, business process improvement, product marketing, technology implementations, organizational design, and change management. Through the founding of Banister Advisors, her passion for client services had met the opportunity to ease the complex emotional and logistical burdens that individuals and families confront in the face of critical circumstances across their lifespan. She holds an MBA with distinction from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington and a BA in Economics from Tufts University.  Vanessa was honored in 2019 by The Puget Sound Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 Finalist. A native of Whidbey Island, WA, she now lives in Seattle with her husband, two young sons, and beloved geriatric chocolate lab.

Gregory Whiting, MSW, LICSW, Navigator – Gregory’s experiences in publishing, HR, emergency medicine, DEI and Intergroup Dialogue practice, and community mental health have allowed him to connect across a variety of differences to address human-centered problems.  Gregory strives to integrate the complex needs of clients during crises into plans of action that provide order in emergent spaces. Gregory holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MSW from the University of Washington.  As a clinical social worker, he has served people experiencing homelessness, youth in schools, incarcerated people, and medical patients with complex treatment needs.  Gregory is originally from Detroit, Michigan and now lives in Seattle with a cat that acts like a dog. 

Gioia Gonzalez, MSW, LICSW, Navigator – Gioia is an experienced clinical social worker and project manager with core values rooted in social justice, ethics, and compassion. She has a BA in Sociology and Public Health from the University of Washington and an MSW from the University of Washington. For over a decade, Gioia worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital in various capacities and is experienced in managing the psychosocial aspects of both chronic and acute medical circumstances. Her passions are partnering to achieve goals, building strong systems within communities to improve outcomes, and providing meaningful support so individuals and families can respond to profound challenges with resiliency.  Gioia is from the Bay Area and now resides in Oregon with your husband and young family.





Community Conversation: COVID-19 and Navigating Grief

Approval Statement: WASHAA/HealthAdvocateX Program, “COVID-19 and Navigating Grief” is approved for 1 General CE. These CEs satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA), approval code 18089.

Approval Date:          November 16, 2020-November 15, 2022 (Expiration Date)

Description – The field of health advocacy is a growing field, with many national organizations to help patients and advocates navigate care.  In this session, Robin Shapiro will help review the major national organizations and how each can help individuals and advocates support patient navigation and care.  There will be a discussion about how health advocacy can help diverse patient populations.  Identification of national organization, credentialing, and efforts to grow the field will also be addressed.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the unique emotions and realities faced by people grieving during the pandemic.
  • Talk about ways we can support the bereaved, and their caregivers too.
  • Discuss the negative health outcomes often faced by the bereaved.
  • With wait lists, hourly rates, geography and cultural distrust making grief support inaccessible for many Americans, what more can we do to make bereavement care available and accessible for everyone who needs it?
  • What’s next? How can we prepare to deliver grief support at scale, to medical professionals, staff, families and society at large.


Dale Reisner, MD, Medical Director (OB/GYN Quality & Safety), Swedish Health Services

Emma is the Founder and CEO of Grief Coach, an innovative service that delivers personalized grief support via text message. Grief Coach combines Emma’s passion for mobile technology and engagement, with her deep commitment to providing affordable, accessible, and personal grief support. An MIT graduate and best-selling author who started building online communities before Netscape was born, Emma knows that, while grief is hard, it’s a little easier when we have people by our side.

Supports BCPA Competency or Ethical Standard:

  • Medical Knowledge and the Healthcare System
  • Professionalism, Professional Development and Practice