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Advocates in Action

The NPAF Podcast

A podcast amplifying the powerful stories of individuals and the collective needs of various communities across the country.

Have you ever felt intimidated, confused, or overwhelmed when trying to navigate the health care system? In those moments it can be hard to advocate for yourself and those you care about. Join our host Ashley D. Freeman as she speaks with patients, providers and caregivers who have found the strength to advocate for equitable access to affordable quality health care.

Advocates in Action is created by the National Patient Advocate Foundation, a non-profit with the objective of prioritizing the patient voice to achieve person-centered care. We are dedicated to amplifying the powerful stories of individuals and the collective needs of various communities across the country.

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The Host

Ashley Danyel Freeman

Manager, Stakeholder Outreach and Engagement

Episode 1: Welcome to Advocates in Action by the National Patient Advocate Foundation

"We are walking softly and listening carefully to amplify the voices of those we work with. We don't want to tell their stories, we want them to tell their stories."

Gwen Darien

Executive Vice President
National Patient Advocate Foundation

Welcome to Advocates in Action, a podcast created by the National Patient Advocate Foundation. In our first season we explore rural health in the United States. We feature patients, advocates and providers who are developing innovative, effective approaches to improving health care in their communities.

On today’s episode we speak with Executive Vice President for Patient Advocacy and Engagement Gwen Darien. Listen as we introduce the mission of our organization, vision for this podcast and plans for our first season.


Episode 2: The 8-Hour Journey to Receive the Care She Deserves

"My doctor doesn't dismiss me based on my bloodwork… He is concerned about me holistically, not just what is in my chart."

Beth Madison

Professor of Biology
Union University

When Beth Madison was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus eight years ago she saw it as an opportunity to tap deeper into her courage, hope, and faith. In this episode she shares how the local care provided in her rural area of Jackson, Tennessee wasn’t the aggressive treatment she desired and resulted in permanent physical damage. Instead of settling for the limited options provided Beth embarked on an 8-hour round trip journey to receive the care she deserves. Listen as she exemplifies the importance and benefits of self-advocacy.

Do you need help with transportation to your doctor’s visit? Visit our National Financial Resource Directory

Beth volunteers for Global Healthy Living Foundation. Learn about their support program for patients.


Episode 3: The Domino Effect of One Person Making a Difference

"It takes just one person to make a difference in one life for that to be the domino effect."

Jessica Jones

"When you're in the middle of worrying about your health, the last thing you want to worry about is your finances."

Rebecca Barnes

There is something powerful about being able to overcome personal challenges and then use that as a catalyst to help others. Jessica Jones and Rebecca Barnes pursued advocacy after defeating their own personal health battles. Listen as they share about the impact they are making in Indiana and Kentucky and how you can adapt some of the approaches they are using in your own local community. They are the epitome of selfless and exemplify how the power of one person can make a difference.

Would you like to become a NPAF advocate? Visit our Volunteer Opportunities



Episode 4: People Helping People in the Vulnerable Face of Mortality

"We don't take care of patients. We only take care of people and we do that remarkably enough with another bunch of people. We bring our skillset and personhood to understand what a person needs and wants."

Michael Fratkin

Founder, CEO and Physician
Resolution Care

After learning a beautiful lesson from his grandfather about the meaning of life and death, Michael Fratkin’s curiosity guided him to become a palliative care physician. He realized in order to provide a holistic approach, he can’t do it alone. So he launched Resolution Care, a team of people helping people in the vulnerable face of mortality. Since 2015 they have served as a cornerstone for many people living with serious illness in rural Northern California by supplying quality person-centered care through telehealth.

Are you in a rural area and need help accessing care? Visit our National Financial Resource Directory

Learn more about Resolution Care and their innovative approach using telehealth.

Connect with Michael Fratkin on social media!

Twitter: @MichaelDFratkin
Facebook: Resolution Care
LinkedIn: Michael Fratkin



Episode 5: How Two Moms Became Greater Together

"That one family is going to get help and resources and it may not be everything they need but at least they were heard and someone understood what they were talking about."

Greta Goto

Special Projects Manager
Stone Soup Group

"If you work together, in collaboration it's better than working individually- we are stronger together."

Mary Middleton

Executive Director
Stone Soup Group

Greta Goto and Mary Middleton crossed paths years ago while pursuing the best care for their children. Today they are colleagues at Stone Soup Group in Anchorage, Alaska supporting families who care for children with special needs. Their experiences have woven together to empower other families to find solutions for the complex needs they encounter as they try to access quality and equitable care in Alaska.

Are you in a rural area and need help accessing care? Visit our National Financial Resource Directory

Learn more about Stone Soup Group and the ways they support families in Alaska.