Health Care Answers is a new company founded by Jodi
Shaefer, RN, PhD. The purpose of Health Care Answers is to
help consumers work better with their health care provider
and the system, to get the most out of their encounters with
the medical world. People who get the best health care are
those who are involved in their care: that is, they have
learned about their symptoms or condition, they know about
some of the treatments and are not intimidated at the
prospect of asking questions. Primary care providers are now
the gatekeepers to obtain the health care. Patients must
become partners with their primary care provider. Health
Care Answers strives to help you be a more informed partner.
Dr. Shaefer is a registered nurse with more than 25 years'
experience in clinical practice, administration, education,
and nursing research. She is currently on the faculty of the
University of Maryland School of Medicine.
She brings a fresh perspective to this very important area
of patient information. Dr. Shaefer's primary interest is
teaching patients to advocate for themselves. She believes
this is best accomplished through education that empowers
individuals to take charge of their own health care. She has
a unique talent for translating technical medical jargon
into everyday terms, to make even the most complex medical
conditions and research findings easily understood.
Because some of her clinical work has been with children,
she is especially skilled at communicating information to
fearful and stressed parents. She has worked extensively
with bereaved families facing their child's death. She
understands the importance of listening carefully to
people's needs, being sensitive to cultural differences, and
addressing health and illness from a holistic perspective.
She seeks to share her knowledge with others, to help
consumers learn how to obtain the best health care possible
for themselves and their families.
In addition to her direct work with patients and families,
Dr. Shaefer is a published author and popular speaker at
workshops, conferences, and in-service programs. Her
publishing history includes articles in peer-reviewed
journals, commissioned reports, and various health education
materials. She has produced educational videotapes, and was
invited to present health education messages as part of a
local cable station's health program. She has lectured
locally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of
health promotion topics.