Sandy Thigpen

Sandy Thigpen

Since beginning my healthcare career in the Home Health Industry in 1984. I have been afforded many opportunities within the healthcare industry to expand my areas of expertise. My first position with Upjohn Healthcare was as a Service Coordinator. I then held positions as a Patient Liaison at Anaheim General Hospital, Garden Grove Hospital and Nations Health Care, a home IV Infusion company.

As I gained experience in the industry, other opportunities arose, and I was able to see firsthand the inner workings of the Skilled Nursing Facility. As Orange County Regional Director for Sunrise Healthcare, I began to understand the many challenges that come with corporate regulation and profit as the driving force in care decisions.

Frustrated making decisions based on what is standard operating procedure and revenue generating for the facility versus what is best for the patient, I moved to Durable Medical Equipment sales as a Territory Manager for Electronic Waveform Lab where I enjoyed working with physicians, physical therapists and patients for five years.

Over a 3 year period, both of my parents struggled with numerous health issues that led to hospitalizations. Their post-hospitalization facility experiences were nothing short of disastrous. I made the decision to help others avoid the devastating and unnecessary consequences of poorly managed stays in a Skilled Nursing Facility.

After experiencing our current healthcare system failures first hand, I understood that most people are not equipped to navigate the patient experience. Like so many families, I did not realize that there were professionals that do just that. Whether you are the patient or you have a family member experiencing a health crisis, do not enter into this battle unequipped or without a trained professional to assist you.

A number of friends and family members watched as I intervened daily in both of my parents’ situations to catch numerous medication mistakes, bathing schedules issues, rehab protocol mishaps, unnecessary duplicated diagnostics and most disturbing the lack of physician oversight. They same friends and family members continually asked me, “What do people do, that don’t have someone like you?”. After both of these personal experiences played out, I began looking into furthering my healthcare career and becoming a part of the solution as a Professional Patient Advocate. Only after you have