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Jennifer Whalen



Jennifer has worked in health care most of her life. After obtaining a degree in biology from Cornell University and a Master of Health Sciences from Duke University, she worked for over ten years as a physician assistant in urgent care, family practice, and hospital medicine. Becoming increasingly frustrated with the healthcare system and wanting to make a change, she enrolled in a Doctor of Health Sciences program from which she graduated in May 2020.

Jennifer’s path in patient advocacy started in2018 when she began working for Melissa Cardine at The Bridge RN Patient Advocates seeing clients and learning the business. She quickly became enthralled with the profession and the impact it was having on the lives of their clients. She knew she wanted to support Melissa’s goal of expanding the profession by providing excellent educational opportunities to train new advocates and guiding advocates as they started new businesses.

They formed The Bridge Health Advocates in2019 through which they continue to do this work. Jennifer has been a Board-Certified Patient Advocate since November 2019.

Jennifer maintains a commitment to volunteerism whether it is fostering kittens for the Arizona Humane Society, data entry for Circle the City, or with the Medical Reserve Corps of Maricopa County. She has volunteered to create and deliver presentations for Pulse Center for Patient Safety, Education, and Advocacy and The International Conference on Patient Advocacy.

She has also been actively involved in the Arizona Association of Patient Advocates (AAPA) since its inception serving on the Membership Committee and as Chair of the Communications Committee. Jennifer has been responsible for the creation of The Patient Advocate Exchange, AAPA’s newsletter for the past several editions.

She looks forward to assisting in the expansion of the patient advocacy profession in Arizona and beyond.

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