Patient Navigation Services

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Patient Navigation Services
Definition of a Patient Advocate
Meet Our Patient Navigators

The Pioneers Advocating Together for Congenital Hearts (PATCH) Network is helping to bring the patients and family back into the care continuum. We want our patients to be empowered by all the information available to them not slowed down by it. We work with patients to help maximize the valuable time they spend with their providers.

All of our patient services are provided free of charge and our ability to help as many patients as possible is dependent upon the valued support of our generous donors. For this reason your support and assistance in fundraising and spreading our message is critical to our ability to serve the congenital heart community.

  • Are you or your child recently diagnosed with CHD and need help finding care or a second opinion?

  • Do you need help deciding what question to ask your doctor at your next visit?

  • Do you want to explore all your treatment options so you can make the best choice for yourself?

  • Are you alone and needing help navigating any part of the healthcare system?

  • Do you need help finding clinical trials or unique solutions related to your CHD?

  • Our patient advocacy and navigation services provided for pediatric and adult congenital heart disease patients.

  • Review of recommendations and diagnosis.

  • Understanding your options, assistance with decision making.

  • Finding and choosing the congenital heart program and system that best fits ALL of your needs.

  • Background Research - Diagnosis and/or treatment options.

  • Understanding your care and medical condition.

  • Translating CHD into terms you and your family can understand.

  • Records review and discussion.

  • Finding clinical trials.

  • Preparation for appointments.

  • Accompaniment to appointments. - Depending on resources

  • Hospital bedside monitoring. - Depending on resources

  • Healthcare proxy and advance directive assistance.

  • Pediatric to Adult care transition readiness and transfer.

  • Refining medical records to pertinent information for emergencies, travel, or transfer.

  • Help choosing the right insurance plan or payer for you.

  • Medicaid, CHIP, and Medicare recommendation and decision making

  • Finding and acquiring available financial assistance from other non-profits.

  • Finding and acquiring available resources from other non-profits and government agencies.

  • Developing a fundraising program to support your unique needs.

  • Emotional and moral support.

We Help You

  • Understand Your Care

  • Find the Care You Need

  • Transition & Transfer Your CHD Care

  • Ask the Right Questions

  • Find the Resources You Need

  • Translate CHD to Plain English

Definition of “Advocate”

Patient Advocate Certification Board Logo

A patient advocate is a professional who provides services to patients and those supporting them who are navigating the complex healthcare continuum. Advocates work directly with clients (or with their legal representatives) to ensure they have a voice in their care and information to promote informed decision making. Advocates may work independently or in medical or other organizational settings. They serve individuals, communities, disease‐specific populations, and family caregivers. Synonyms may include health advocate, healthcare advocate, healthcare advocacy consultant, healthcare consumer advocate, and other phrases that imply this role.

- Deemed by the Patient Advocate Certification Board

Meet Our Patient Navigators

Joe Valente

Joe Valente, BCPA
Board Certified Patient Advocate
Patient Navigator

Joe was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. He required his first open heart surgery at 54 hours old and suffered a stroke after surgery. He has had four open heart surgeries, the last two days before his 30th birthday. He has struggled with PTSD for most of his life and believes a strong mind and building a team with a roster full of supporters is the key to successfully living with a chronic illness. He is a Board-Certified Patient Advocate for families, children, and adults with congenital heart disease—helping them to navigate the emotions, diagnoses, and challenges they face in finding and understanding appropriate CHD care. He specializes in understanding the unique medical challenges that are faced by patients with CHD and chronic illness and strives to be a valuable resource that can benefit patients and families in need of assistance.

Read Joe's Blogs:
-The Mighty
-PCHA Blog
-ACHA Blog

Follow Joe on Social Media
  • Congenital Heart Disease Management

  • Medical Record Review

  • CHD Treatment Options

  • Neurocognitive Care

  • Disabilty & Medicare Management

Lindsay Alano

Lindsay Alano, MA
Patient Navigator

Lindsay’s CHD wasn’t discovered until her mom took her into a six week baby well check up. It was there that the pediatrician heard Lindsay’s heart murmur for the first time. They advised her parents to rush her to San Diego Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. From there, she was diagnosed with: tricuspid atresia, single ventricle, leaky mitral valve and transposition of the greater arteries. Lindsay had her first of three open heart surgeries two weeks after her initial diagnosis. Throughout her 30 years of life, Lindsay has never let CHD define her. She has moved all over the United States, completed her Master of Arts in Educational Counseling and married her husband the summer of 2016. Lindsay joined our team because she has a passion for patient advocacy and using her own life experiences to help CHD patients and their families get the right care.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4

Read Lindsay's Blogs:
-The Mighty
-Personal Blog -

Follow Lindsay on Social Media
  • Single Ventricle & PLE Management

  • 504 & IEP Consulting

  • Education & Career Planning

  • Mental Health

  • Self Advocacy

Tiffany Wasiuk

Tiffany Wasiuk, MHA
Patient Navigator

Tiffany was born with three congenital heart defects (CHD): Coarctation of the Aorta (CoA), bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), and aberrant right subclavian artery (ARSA). However, her defects weren’t discovered until she was a competitive athlete in her teenage years, despite having a loud heart murmur and cold, painful legs her entire childhood. At age 16, she broke her toe playing soccer and when it wouldn’t heal, her parents took her to her primary care physician for an X-ray whereupon it was discovered she had very high blood pressure and absent pulses in her legs. Thanks to a broken toe, this critical defect was found and Tiffany had immediate heart surgery to widen her aorta, as well as numerous follow-up cardiac catheterizations and cardiac MRI’s in the years since.

Tiffany’s outgoing personality and unique CHD experience has ignited a passion to help others. She continuously strives to serve as a valuable resource to those around her. She has achieved career success in the healthcare industry in emergency medical services, sales, data consulting, and patient advocacy. She earned her Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Management while working fulltime for a large health insurance company, and also serves on the Board of Directors for two national healthcare trade organizations. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of CHD and deep understanding of the healthcare system to guide other CHD families through their times of need.

Tiffany has a twin brother, who is heart-healthy, and she resides in the suburbs of Richmond, VA with her police officer husband, Andrew, and one dog and two cats. In her spare time she enjoys boating on the Chesapeake Bay, reading, watching soccer, exercising, and snuggling her fur babies.

  • Healthcare System Navigation

  • Adult CHD Management

  • 2nd Opinions for CHD

  • Insurance Plan Assistance

  • Medical Record Review