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Ripped from the Headlines…. a Warning for Health Advocates, Too
A kidnapping and murder last weekend raises questions for all professionals who work one-on-one with strangers…. If it can happen to a real estate agent, it can happen to a health advocate, too. I’m referring to the headlines about Beverly Carter in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was a real estate agent who had gotten a call from a stranger to show a home she had listed for sale. And then she disappeared. Her body was found several days later in a shallow grave. See that second sentence? “She was a real estate agent who had gotten a call from a stranger to show a home she had listed for sale.” It could just as easily have said, “She was a patient advocate who had gotten a call from a stranger to discuss the problems he was having with his medical care (or medical bills.) Like real estate agents, the nature of the work we do is to help strangers. In fact, if we don’t help strangers, then we won’t stay in business for long – it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. Common sense should tell us never to just show up at a stranger’s home – and yet, I have no doubt that many of you reading this post have done just that. And as you read this post, you are thinking, “well, sure, but….. “ But what? But you thought it would be safe? Uh-huh. And so did Beverly Carter. She didn’t realize that she would be dead before the day was out. Arron Lewis, the man accused of kidnapping and killing her said she was targeted because she was “a woman that worked alone.” OK – I know what you are thinking. You think I sound like your mother. “You can’t be too careful!” Mom would say. “Don’t talk to strangers!” Mom would say. But no – this is beyond all that… this is real safety advice. A jarring reminder that you need to take precautions to protect yourself – because you work with strangers for a living. The safety advice is – don’t go alone to…