5 Important Benefits of Including Patients and Patient Advocates in Healthcare Conferences

5 Important Benefits of Including Patients and Patient Advocates in Healthcare Conferences

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I would like to start this by saying thank you so much to Maggie Baldwin (of Let’s Talk IBD) for capturing this beautiful moment between Meg Johnson (of the Front Butt YouTuber) and I. Definitely check out their channels. They are two amazing people and IBD advocates who I absolutely adore!

How Conferences Benefit Patients and Patient Advocates

Health conferences are an amazing way for doctors, nurses, researchers and other healthcare providers to come together and really connect for a common purpose. Whether it’s conferences like Advances in IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), where the latest research is being discussed, or things like ICN (Improve Care Now) where the focus is pediatrics and IBD, how to improve life and healthcare for children. No matter what company or cause, it’s becoming more and more apparent that conferences are not only beneficial for providers, but patients too!

Why Health Conferences Are Important For Patients and Patient Advocates

I’m so blessed to be invited to some of these events. I realize these are opportunities not awarded to most which is why I will try my best in covering them better on my blog and social media. These are priceless moments that not only give patients the opportunity to learn from leaders in healthcare, but also to connect and network with people we would have (in most cases) never otherwise had the chance to meet. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve known of most of my IBD friends. I mean of course right? My friends are bad a**. – But conferences gave me the opportunity to connect in person and there’s nothing like a real, in person, human connection.


Are you representing a company that is considering inviting patients to your next conference? Are you a patient considering attending a conference? If so, check out these Benefits of Including Patients and Patient Advocates in Healthcare Conferences


5 Important Benefits of Including Patients and Patient Advocates in Healthcare Conferences:

  1. Authentic Promotion – Patients are looking for information they can trust. Patients trust patients. Patients know they can turn to each-other for truth and authentic experiences. We look to each-other when we can’t look to anyone else. By including patients in conferences you’re investing in our community and in exchange, we tend to invest in yours as well.
  2. Honest Feedback – As patient advocates, our mission is to help patients in any way we can. You can count on advocates to always give you 100% open and honest feedback on how the patient community may respond to any initiatives you’re considering rolling out.
  3. Inspiring Better Advocacy Efforts – Conferences serve as an amazing way to give advocates a break while giving us a chance to recharge. This break in conjunction with the priceless connections we make at these conferences really help to get advocates motivated to do more in our communities!
  4. Networking Opportunities – For some patients, conferences are the only time they have face-to-face interaction with other patients. Some of us are bed-bound, others simply too exhausted from their debilitating disease(s) to do things healthy people take for granted like going to the store or exercising in the gym. To give these patients an outlet is to give them life.
  5. Lifelong Friendships – The friendships we make at these events are priceless and we appreciate them more than you could ever know. Having the opportunity to connect with people we’ve been communicating with for so long (online) is simply amazing.




If you’re hosting an event and considering inviting patients Let Me Know! I’d be more than happy to help! If you’re a patient considering attending an event, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to discuss!






  • Posted May 5, 2018 6:55 am 0Likes
    by Linda Passaro

    Count me in for Mom of daughter 18 struggling with IBD for 7 years. First UC diagnoses. 3 surgeries. J Pouch. Now still sick. Now diagnosed Crohns. One doctor after another unable to help her. Constant advocacy and stress navigating the frustrations & fear. Communication with doctors, nutritionists and patients needs improvement in a disease that is so individual.

    • Posted May 5, 2018 4:04 pm 0Likes
      by shawnbethea

      I’m sorry to hear this Linda. I too have a J-pouch and have been living with certain complications. Have you considered going on an IBD center / specialist? I have been considering this for a while myself. I’ve heard nothing but good reviews from my friends.

  • Posted May 9, 2018 2:53 pm 0Likes
    by Lowen Puckey

    What an awesome idea! I have only been part of a round table conference where all the professionals involved in the care of my daughter got together to discuss her management plan. It happened just the once and I think it’s a rare occurrence in New Zealand. The type of conferencing you’re talking about would be another massive step forward – I hope more of it happens! And very beautiful photo x Lowen @ livingpositivelywithdisability.com

    • Posted May 11, 2018 12:11 pm 0Likes
      by shawnbethea

      Thanks for reading Lowen! That type of round table conferenced also sounds interesting. I had to do something like that for my mother. Yes, this conference was amazing. I think these are awesome experiences for patients. I hope something like it comes to your area soon!

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