The US. health care system is complicated, frustrating and sometimes downright scary.
Thankfully, patient advocacy is becoming more prevalent across the nation, and Charleston native Sharon Harper has brought this practice to the Isle of Palms and the tri-county area. She founded Coastal Patient Advocates to help people navigate the complexities of health care, offering a wide range of services, including accompanying clients to doctor’s visits, keeping track of their medications and identifying medical errors.
Harper retired in 2006 as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps with more than 30 years of nursing experience. She continued to practice home health for a while, and, though she enjoyed working with patients, she found that the documentation was often difficult for them to understand. Having guided her own parents and grandmother through hospice, Harper knows firsthand that if you don’t have a medical background, understanding health care is next to impossible. She believes nurses are patient advocates because they work closely with their patients and approach health care from a holistic point of view.
Harper aims to bring passion back to medicine and focus on the total well-being of her clients. Acting as a liaison between patients and their health care providers, she is a second set of expert eyes and ears to sift through all of the information and paperwork involved in medical treatment. Coastal Patient Advocates customizes care to fit the needs of people of all ages – all for a fair price.
The private advocacy firm was established earlier this year, and Harper has plans to expand in the future. She wants to hire more nurses so she can reach a greater number of people and live out her mission to “educate, support and empower” her clients.
To learn more, visit www.coastalpatientadvocates.com.
By Annie Stoppelbein