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Together Patient Advocates Blog

Kim Mcilnay, BCPA

Kim Mcilnay, BCPA
I am the founder of Together Patient Advocates, LLC. I combine my past experiences as a Family Physician with my current experiences as a patient with chronic illness to provide insights into medical care patient advocacy.

Recent Posts

What’s the Difference between a Physician and a Nurse Practitioner?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 16, 2020 10:15:00 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in self-advocacy, preparing for your doctor's appointment, ER

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For a moment, I would like you to imagine yourself in the following situation.

You are in the exam room for your diabetic check-up, expecting to see a familiar face. But instead of your primary care physician, a stranger walks in.  This individual is not a physician but is a nurse practitioner (NP). Do you know the difference between the two?

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Rising Rates of Colon Cancer Among Young Adults

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 18, 2020 11:30:00 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in Insurance, prevention, colon cancer, young adults

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Serious workers standing all together at workThe recent death of 43 year-old actor Chadwick Boseman is raising much needed awareness about the rise rates of colon cancer among young adults.  

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The Upshot of Flu Shots

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 4, 2020 2:24:00 PM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in vaccination, flu, prevention, influenza

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Flu season is just around the corner. Influenza or "the flu" is a contagious upper-respiratory illness that can cause severe illness, and at times, lead to death. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that during the 2018-2019 flu season, the flu was associated with 490,600 hospitalizations and 34,200 deaths. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, congestion, headaches, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Don’t expect the number of cases in the U.S. to be lower this year because countries in the Southern Hemisphere, like Australia and New Zealand, experienced a very mild flu season . Their flu season happened at the same time their citizens were abiding by very strict stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Since the U.S. is not enforcing similar regulations, experts in the U.S. do not expect a similar decrease in the number of flu cases.

If anything, because Americans are also at risk of contracting COVID-19, this flu season presents a greater-than-normal risk to your health. That means getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Stacy Schultz-Cherry, a researcher at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital explains it this way , “We really don’t know what a co-infection would look like.” Schultz-Cherry adds, “I wouldn’t want to have the lungs that would find that out.” You don’t want those lungs either.

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Home With COVID-19

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 24, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in COVID-19, Coronavirus, Recovery

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A slice of good news found within the COVID-19 statistics is that the majority of people with the virus are not sick enough to warrant hospitalization. Johns Hopkins estimates about 80 – 90% of COVID-19 cases are “not severe and many may be asymptomatic.”  Even though people experience varying levels of symptoms and recovery times, there are things that patients or their caregivers can do at home to manage mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms and help the recovery process.

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Staying Safe As States Re-Open

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 1, 2020 2:00:00 PM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in COVID-19, Coronavirus

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If shelter-in-place seemed to come with a road map (what to do, not to do, and how to stay reasonably safe), the re-opening feels a bit more like the early days of Google maps.  You can see your final destination, but the suggested route seems to have you driving all around it, leaving you uncertain as to the best path for getting there.   

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It's Time to See the Doctor

[fa icon="calendar'] May 22, 2020 8:00:00 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in COVID-19, Coronavirus

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If you missed medical appointments due to COVID-19, it's time to consider rescheduling them as doctors’ offices and health care facilities are re-opening in accordance with state and local guidelines. While it might be tempting to avoid the doctor's office during the pandemic, you'd hate to suffer the consequences of missing treatment for a preventable condition when safe care can be obtained.  Here are some changes you should see in medical offices and tips to help you minimize risk while resuming your health care.

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Preparing for Hospitalization During the COVID Pandemic

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 23, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in preparing for your doctor's appointment, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Hospital

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Thanks to Advoconnection for posting my article on how to prepare for the hospital, especially during the COVID pandemic. There are specific steps you can take TODAY to prepare.

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Packing a Hospital "Go Bag"

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 21, 2020 9:40:38 AM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in elderly illness, ER, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Hospital

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We're familiar with the concept of packing a "Go Bag" in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, or if serving as active duty military. If you're someone with chronic illness who may need an emergency trip to the hospital, or someone who is at increased risk of hospitalization during the COVID 19 Pandemic, it's a good idea to pack a "Go Bag" now.

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Long-Term Care in the Time of COVID-19

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 10, 2020 6:42:49 PM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility, COVID-19, Coronavirus

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If you have a loved one in a long-term care facility, you want to stay connected with them while also making sure the facility is doing all they should to keep their residents and staff safe.  Here are some suggestions for both of those goals:

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How You Can Help

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 1, 2020 2:22:22 PM / by Kim Mcilnay, BCPA posted in Coronavirus

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Most of us are unable to join the ranks of doctors and nurses working on the front lines of the highly contagious COVID 19.  We are left to wonder what we can do to help these brave, selfless people risking their lives to save others.  As it turns out, there are a number of things each of us can do.  

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