Hi. I'm Trisha Torrey.

My advocacy mission began after a shocking misdiagnosis of cancer in the summer of 2004. Told I had a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma and had only a few months to live, I instead used my wits and chutzpah to prove the two confirming reviews of my biopsy were — wrong. I had no cancer at all.*

What I learned is American Healthcare’s Dirty Little Secret: It’s not about health or care. It’s about sickness and money. More than 100,000 people die each year due to medical errors and misdiagnosis. Millions more suffer at the hands of the system through diagnosis or treatment mistakes.

I had become a statistic!

Of course, if I had actually suffered through chemo and survived it, I would have been declared cured of an incurable disease because, of course, I wasn’t really sick. The very doctors who were wrong would have been declared heroes.

What did I do about it? How did I cope?

Of course, I was relieved once I realized that no, I wouldn’t be dead within just a few months. But I was also angry – SO angry! And frustrated. Upset. I had lost all faith in the healthcare system I thought had been built to help me. And I lost every penny of my savings to co-pays and lack of coverage to prove I was OK, despite the fact that I had health insurance.

When it was over, I was mentally and emotionally spent. I needed a catharsis; something to help me get past such a heinous insult to my being.

I began in 2005 by branding myself as “Every Patient’s Advocate,” writing and speaking on “smart patient” topics. It was a way of turning my anger into something positive – what I call “proactive survivorship.” 

Every Patient's Advocate logo

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 I wrote articles, blog posts, and a newspaper column. I hosted a radio show called HealthLink On Air, I was invited to speak around the country, and I began writing books.

I was passionate! I was focused! And I was frustrated beyond words that the healthcare system could be so dysfunctional that it destroyed lives and financial security just so it could maximize profits.

By 2008, I recognized that I was only one person, and while I was helping some people with their journeys, I could help so many more if I taught others to do the work I was doing, too.

The Birth of Every Advocate’s Advocate

logo - The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates Where could those people be found?  By late 2009, I duplicated my branding, as I became Every Advocate’s Advocate…  by launching The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, specifically created to help individuals with similar passion to mine create private, independent advocacy practices. professional patient advocates

Numbers of trained advocates grew, and continue to grow. People around the country – in fact, around the world – began adopting the profession as a new career for themselves, or benefiting from the work of those who did.

The newly created profession of “Health and Patient Advocacy” was born.

I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of “my” profession’s adoption and growth. Even more so, I’m delighted by the improved quality and quantity of patients’ lives, and the enhanced financial security of those patients and caregivers who have worked with professional advocates.

So what am I doing today?

I tried to retire!  Honestly – I did! First in 2021. Then again in 2022. Then I gave up trying to retire in 2023!

It’s hard to walk away from something I’m so passionate about when I know it’s so important! Working with patients who need resources, and advocates who need support…. 

And so, I continue. 

I sandwich my work with family, friends, golf, travel, and spending time with my husband and puppy dog. 

Life is very good.

Here’s what’s most important to you:
I’m committed to staying active in the patient-empowerment and health advocacy environments and plan to do so for years to come.

*In fact, I never received an accurate diagnosis. To this day, almost 20 years later, I have still never been given a name for the strange lump they removed from my body. And as you can see. No, I’m still not dead. They were “dead wrong.”

Trisha Torrey
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