Brightmore University started this month in education with “The Importance of Healthcare Advocacy”: Getting the Most! Presented by Ellen Abisch, RN, President of Health Advocate Services. Residents and community neighbors received tips on how to get the most from your doctor’s visits and health insurance. Patient roles have changed so it is very important to make sure you are taking the steps to use healthcare and health insurance effectively for better health and cost control. After many examples from the audience, we realized that going to the doctor alone, as a senior, can be a very scary experience…anxiety runs high, you do not understand what the doctor is saying, you can’t think on the spot questions that should be asked, communication can be challenging, and so on. Having a Health Advocate, being a family member or a hired professional, enables and empowers the patient to get his/her health needs met, provides resources so patients can be as healthy as possible, helps patients understand medical conditions and treatment options, ensures the highest quality of care, assist with health insurance and payment, and an advocate can research health plans for the patients. Health Advocacy helps patients become “good, engaged patients” in order to optimize their health.