Dr. Best is a retired pediatrician with expertise in public and environmental health, clinical decision making, and epidemiology. After graduating from Yale with a degree in chemistry, Dr. Best went to medical school at the University of Virginia. She did her residency in pediatrics at the University of Vermont, then was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship at the University of North Carolina. During her career as a pediatrician, Dr. Best worked on children’s health issues ranging from preventing addiction and secondhand smoke exposure, to advocating for the health of children and families living in Washington, DC during the lead-in- water crisis in 2001-2004. In her role as a public health advocate, Dr. Best testified before the U.S. Congress three times.
Dr. Best became a patient advocate when her father was misdiagnosed with carcinoma of unknown primary (“CUP”), a terrible diagnosis for which there is no effective treatment. Despite the lack of evidence supporting chemotherapy and radiation treatment, her father received both, suffering the side effects associated with the treatments. Fortunately, a colleague of Dr. Best’s offered to take a look at her father’s case, and that encounter led to a new diagnosis of chordoma, a more treatable cancer with a much longer life expectancy. Unfortunately, the side effects of the treatment her father had received prior to being correctly diagnosed contributed to an infection, which ultimately led to her father’s death in 2006. Her father died at home under hospice care. Through this experience, as well as through the experiences of her patients, Dr. Best learned first-hand the frustrations and challenges of caring for a family member trapped in the medical system.
Dr. Best is a member of The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, a patient advocacy and care management professional organization in the United States, Canada, and worldwide, and the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants, which is dedicated to empowering advocates and consumers to navigate the healthcare system.
Principles of Best Patient Advocacy
Dr. Best adheres to the Code of Ethics for the Healthcare Advocacy profession and maintains the following principles:
Autonomy. Best Patient Advocacy will support the independence, freedom of will, and actions of each client.
Respect. Best Patient Advocacy will respect the values and perspectives of the client, his or her family, and all members of the client’s care team.
Responsible stewardship. Best Patient Advocacy will responsibly manage time, money, and resources.
Clear Communication. Best Patient Advocacy will clearly communicate with the client, the client’s family and the care team, always as directed by the client.
Confidentiality. Best Patient Advocacy will protect all personal and health information, maintain secured files, and share information only when directed by the client.