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About the Author

Two phone calls, 17 years apart, changed the course of Betty Long’s life.

The first came in 1982, when her father called to tell her that her mother had pancreatic cancer. Four months later, her mother was dead and Betty had shifted gears and decided to become a nurse.

The second call came in 1999. Betty’s uncle was in intensive care. A procedure was needed and her elderly aunt asked plaintively “what should I do?” With that question, Betty again found a new calling.

In that moment, the seed for Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates was planted.

With 25 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and Administrator, Betty Long knows the healthcare system inside and out. As a caretaker for elderly relatives, she saw firsthand how difficult it is for patients and families to make the healthcare system work for them.

She founded Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates to provide a voice for patients and families who feel they are not being heard. The company’s Nurse Advocates offer strong and independent support for corporate and private clients all over the United States.

Long has seen how healthcare works at every level. She began her career in 1986 as a critical care nurse. She later earned a masters’ degree in healthcare administration and went on to leadership positions in hospital administration and healthcare consulting. She also has management experience in long-term care and outpatient services for seniors.
Nationally, Long’s advocacy work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, National Public Radio’s Marketplace and in The New York Times.

Dr. Mehmet Oz also invited her to participate as an expert on the Sharecare website he created with Jeff Arnold. Sharecare is an interactive social Q&A site on which leading physicians, nurses, hospitals, clinics, authors, healthcare companies and non-profits share their collective expertise and answer consumers’ questions.

In 2008, Long was honored by Glamour Magazine and Tag Heuer North America during the Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year gala at a reception hosted by Uma Thurman.

The Guardian Nurses’ success story also has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, and the New England Healthcare Journal.

Long serves on the Advisory Board of the Professional Patient Advocacy Institute and is also a contributing editor for Employee Benefit News, a monthly national magazine for employee-benefit professionals. She is frequently in demand as a speaker on healthcare advocacy for healthcare professionals, human resources professionals, insurance companies and groups and for consumers. Long shares practical healthcare advice each month in the free Guardian Nurses email newsletter, The Flame.

“Parents and families get phone calls like the ones I got every day,” Long says, “calls that change the course of their lives in an instant. Cancer. Multiple sclerosis. Heart attack. Alzheimer’s. Nurses know how the healthcare system works. We can make it work for you.”

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