What Matt Lauer Can Teach Us About Private, Independent Advocacy

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What Matt Lauer Can Teach Us About Private, Independent Advocacy

The shocking news last week (although not-so-shocking to some) that Matt Lauer had been kicked to the curb by NBC came in tandem with an email conversation with a newly minted health advocate who wanted to be listed in the AdvoConnection Directory, but who has a little (not so little) problem with her website and marketing materials. It struck me that Lauer’s behavior, as he faced accusations, even though the circumstances are NOT at all the same, provides a lesson to share with you. Of course, Lauer was jettisoned because he was hitting on women inappropriately using his status as a well-known TV professional and personality. Part of the surprise was that his dismissal came so quickly. No women had come forward publicly to accuse him. Further, it seemed he was let go before he had a chance to defend himself. Later we learned that NBC had previously discussed with him several rumors that this egregious behavior was taking place – but he had denied the allegations. Lauer had lied, plain and simple. Therefore, because his actions spoke far louder than his words, those actions caught up to him. Now he has paid the price. My email conversation with the new advocate was far different from Matt Lauer’s situation, of course. No nefarious or loutish behavior here! It was about three professionals with the best of intentions who want to do the right thing for people who need assistance as they navigate the healthcare system. But our discussion was based on the same adage – that actions speak louder than words, and that they can catch up to us. The advocate and her business partners are all physicians. Two are retired and no longer licensed. They have decided to work together to build an advocacy practice. I love that! The problem is that their website and practice brochures are riddled with photos of medical personnel – white coats, stethoscopes, and all. Further, the name of their company is a medical name, and the text throughout the website is about hiring doctors to help. There are no disclaimers. If you are…


 

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