How to Advocate for the Healthcare You Deserve | Robin Shapiro



Ep. 195 - Robin Shapiro is the founder of many for-profit and non-profit organizations all having to do with health advocacy. Robin is currently Board Chair of HealthAdvocateX, a national non-profit dedicated to helping people transform from patients to active participants and partners in their own care.  She’s also a published author of The Secret Language of Healthcare: How to Ask for the Care You Deserve and regularly gives workshops on topics related to health advocacy. Robin Shapiro provides excellent advice when she says, “If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that any of us might have to navigate the unknowns of the healthcare system at any moment – best to be prepared and not learn the system at the same time you enter it.” She advises to “Never ‘Go it Alone' when you are navigating healthcare.” Listen in to learn the factors to consider in the initial stages of starting a business to ensure you’re off to a successful start. You will also hear why you should take the leap and pursue entrepreneurship without fear if that’s what you’re passionate about.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to use your passion and creativity as a stepping stone to starting your own business
  • The value of having at least one client when starting a business to ensure you’re not starting from zero
  • Why you should never go it alone when it comes to your healthcare
  • The importance of always prioritizing and taking care of your health and wellness

"Everyone should have their healthcare advance directive done. So, if unexpected something happens, and you can't make decisions for yourself. Make sure you have your wishes known and written down." -Robin Shapiro

In this episode you’ll discover:

Robin explains how she got into the healthcare sector to educate people [1:00]

How she used her passion for health to start a business, plus her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs [2:58]

The initial steps she took to get her business off the ground and to a great start [6:30]

The importance of asking for feedback and partnering to become a great entrepreneur [11:48]

Why you should pursue a business partnership and the factors to keep in mind when doing so [15:03]

How a health advocate seeks to understand, support, and assert a patient’s needs [19:04]

How Covid elevated the role of a health advocate and asserted its importance for patients [21:22]

Robin’s book The Secret Language of Healthcare and the journey it was writing and publishing it [24:56]

Robin shares three healthcare takeaways you should never overlook [29:24]

She describes some of the reasons why she enjoys being an entrepreneur [31:31]


Robin Shapiro is nationally recognized as a pioneer in the Health Advocacy Movement. After two decades in the health communications and biotechnology fields, she founded several companies designed to elevate the voice and experience of patients.  She applied her unique communications experience to innovate in the area of independent health advocacy.  Based on these businesses, she has dedicated the rest of her career to helping patients find their voice to improve their care. Robin Shapiro is a health communications entrepreneur with more than thirty years of experience.  She is currently Board Chair and co-founder of HealthAdvocateX, whose mission is to help people transform from patients to active participants and partners in their care. She is a nationally recognized pioneer in the Health Advocacy movement.

She founded several award-winning companies that engage patients in sharing their personal medical stories to help others, including Health Advocacy Strategies (2002) and Health Perspectives Group (2011).

Today, her goal is to inspire people to take action through interactive presentations and workshops including:

  • The ABCs of an Effective Doctor Visit
  • Five Things Smart People Do to Manage Their Health
  • Taming the Medicine Cabinet
  • Safe & Sound in the Hospital: A Short Course on Patient Safety


She has been recognized by Seattle Business Magazine as a "Woman to Watch," and was a 2012 finalist in WBO’s Nellie Cashman Women Business Owner of the Year. Ms. Shapiro was selected as a 40 Under 40 Honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal.


Robin currently serves as a Washington Innovation Council Member of Cambia Grove and the International Women’s Forum – WA Forum (as Vice-Chair).


Robin is the author of The Secret Language of Healthcare: How to Ask for the Care You Deserve.  The inspiration for this book was the many people she met who had compelling, life-changing experiences as they navigated or helped navigate health care decision-making for others.


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