Member Spotlight: National Patient Advocate Foundation

George Dahlman

National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) represents the patient’s voice nationwide, particularly those struggling with chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness. As the advocacy affiliate of the Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides free case management and copay relief services to thousands of patients across the country, we translate the experience of patients who have been denied access to affordable, quality health care into national and state policy initiatives.

The patients served by the Patient Advocate Foundation often experience major financial barriers to accessing the care they need. Because the majority of these patients are insured, these barriers manifest through specialty tiers, prior authorization requirements or mandated pathways. In other instances, their problem may be a simple, every day issues that create enormous difficulties, like transportation to their site of care. As these problems compound, patients wind up in medical debt with the threat of bankruptcy.

We are a proud member of Research! America because we believe that medical research is the long-term solution to the problems our patients face. Medical research, more than anything else, will bring better quality and more personalized care to patients, and eventually drive down the cost of their care.  As care becomes more personalized, we will see fewer trips to the hospital or a site of care. We will see fewer interventions and “fail first” drug policies.  And finally, because of the exciting work being done in telemedicine and other innovations that allow testing to be done “in the field,” we will see patients conquer transportation barriers and experience the future of medicine today.

At NPAF, we continuously campaign for more funding for the National Institutes of Health and for further government investment in medical research. Our members have made hundreds of contacts within Congress over the past year alone in support of initiatives like the 21st Century Cures Act and against short-sighted sequestration budget cuts. As patients and caregivers, they understand that when they support medical research, they are investing in their own futures. As experienced advocates, we know that by partnering with Research!America, we are investing in our entire nation’s future.

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George Dahlman is the Executive Vice President, Federal Affairs & Operations, of NPAF. 


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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln