Being a patient advocate isn’t easy. Attention is mostly paid to clinicians, administrators, payors, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and medical device makers. Patients are often an afterthought. But thanks to the determined work of passionate advocates like Barby Ingle, patients are becoming more involved in how care is delivered.
Ingle is the President of the International Pain Foundation (iPain Foundation) – a foundation created by her family as a project to help people in their community. Ingle is a published author with nine books to her name including: From Wheels to Heals and The Pain Code; A Pain Patient’s Instruction Book to Communicating with Healthcare Professionals. She is currently the Executive Director of the iPain Living Magazine.
Earlier this year, Ingle was the recipient of the 2020 Medigy HITMC Award for Patient Advocate of the Year. This award was an acknowledgement of the numerous causes and initiatives she was involved with, despite being severely ill for part of the year.
“I was so excited when I found out I had won the award,” shared Ingle in an interview with HITMC.com. “It was a validation at one of the worst times I have had health-wise in ten years. I was so sick and I was trying by my best to help but I didn’t know if it was good enough. To receive the recognition from HITMC was just icing on the cake.”
To accomplish everything she did over the past 12 months, Barby had to be extremely organized. Luckily, that comes naturally to her: “Being organized is my superpower.” Staying focused through the lockdowns allowed Barby to continue to spread her message of hope to the iPain community. “I’m hoping I plant seeds so that even if someone doesn’t need my help now, if they or a family member or friend needs them in the future, they’ll look to iPain,” Barby stated. “I want to plant seeds that grow into trees and be fruitful to help people around the world.”
During the interview, Barby offered here thoughts on the current state of healthcare. Doctors don’t have time to teach us all the things we have to learn as patients,” she said, further explaining that it took her three years to get a proper diagnosis and another four years to get proper treatment. Her journey is an example of how strong and dedicated patients have to be when it comes to advocating for their own care. It’s no wonder that she feels that solutions that help doctors spend more time with patients is so important right now.
Barby has found that sharing her story has helped other people find their voice, something she is extremely proud of. She had this sound piece of advice for anyone, but particularly for chronic disease or chronic pain patients. “Sometimes you need the help and sometimes you can give the help. Be willing to do both.”
Watch the interview to:
- Learn more about the iPain Foundation and how you can get involved
- The secret to planning, executing, and marketing virtual events
- Barby’s prediction for the future of healthcare events
- See where Barby keeps her 2020 Medigy HITMC Patient Advocate of the Year Award