Who We Are

Who We Are

Kathleen Pickrel, LMSW

Kathleen Pickrel, LMSW
Helping people successfully navigate the healthcare system is my personal mission in life. Hearing from an early age how my own family members had difficult and sometimes traumatic experiences while interfacing with the healthcare system, I always knew I wanted to help people avoid the same negative experiences that my family had endured. Later, after dealing with my own health issues I became more certain than ever that my career would involve working to help people overcome the many barriers there are to receiving appropriate and timely medical care. Read More

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work. I spent nine years working in a large medical institution as a licensed medical social worker, ensuring clients got the support, resources and education they needed to get the best, most comprehensive care possible. It is so exciting that I have been able to expand my scope of patient care by becoming a partner in Advocation Services, where there is a broader opportunity to work with the members of our community to ensure they get the care they deserve.

Phyllis Simon

Phyllis Simon
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I now call both Tucson and Toronto home. Patient advocacy has driven my passion since my mother’s illness and consequent death in 1990. While I found it unbelievably difficult and stressful to manage healthcare provider communications from a distance, I had that experience under my belt when it fell to me to manage the healthcare and end-of-life issues faced by two elderly aunts living in Florida. Read More

The journey through my own cancer diagnosis and treatment provided additional impetus to help others manage an often overwhelming healthcare maze. For many years, I have provided support to friends and family members dealing with cancer as well to patients in the radiation clinics at both Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto and the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson.

I am a graduate of the University of Toronto with a B.A. in Bioethics and am currently enrolled in the Patient Advocacy Certificate Program through UCLA. My professional memberships include APHA (The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates) and NAHAC (National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants).

If you happen upon the book, Ethics at the Bedside (1990), please read the chapter I co-authored with Dr. Stuart Youngner, Chair of Bioethics, Case-Western Reserve University. Advocacy in action!