Patient Leader

Patient and client advocacy is one of the paramount responsibilities of care. Patient engagement, ability to learn, to trust and to make difficult decisions at their most vulnerable can rely on their relationships with their care partners. A time of illness is a stressful time for patients as well as for their families. The best-laid plans can go awry, judgment is impaired, and, put simply, we are not at your best when you are sick. Patients need someone who can look out for their best interests and help navigate the confusing healthcare system–in other words, an advocate. An effective advocate is someone you trust who is willing to act on your behalf as well as someone who can work well with other members of your healthcare team. I work with clients living with a cancer diagnosis on a daily basis to be an effective and compassionate supporter, believer, educator, researcher, sponsor, promoter, campaigner, backer, and spokesperson. I foster the optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, and throughout the cancer community and beyond focusing on the specific needs of each client. Empathy, and compassion lay the foundation for optimal relationships and create a space for healing on many levels. I love being a patient advocate and I thank my gracious nominators in recognizing my passion for caring.


Advocating for Another Lifetime Achievement Award Health Activist Hero Best in Show: Community Best in Show: Facebook Patient Leader Hero




Silver Stethoscope

Fantastic blog dedicated to helping others. Great for resources of all types (information, pending legislation). She keeps it upbeat, and her personal tone is amazing!

I met Heather Swift when we both reviewed breast cancer grants for the CDMRP. Heather's thorough reviews from her perspective as a consumer reviewer and cancer survivor made us think more about the impact of the grants beyond the science. I have since known her as a tireless advocate for cancer patients who is involved in scores of advocacy groups.  — Brian

Heather has been an active health activist in the cancer community since her first diagnosis in 1998. A leader in legislative advocacy, patient education, community involvement, and information dissemination. I nominate Heather for her tireless work in creating a more effective infrastructure for patients to become advocate for their health.  — Marie


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