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Wrong Marie Connolly?

Marie Connolly

Professional Patient Advocate, Elder Care Manager, Community Case Manager

Owner-Guiding Light , LLC

Direct Phone: (303) ***-****direct phone


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Background Information

Employment History


Summary of Qualifications


Professional Patient Advocate Institute

Advisory Board Member

CMSA Colorado

Board Member

Case Management

Board Member

Web References(31 Total References)

Case Study: Building a Presence Through Advertising and Social Media | Professional Patient Advocate Institute [cached]

For Marie Connolly, patient advocacy seemed natural like a natural progression after her long career in healthcare.
Connolly, now the owner and founder of the patient advocacy firm Guiding Light LLC in the Denver, Colo., area, was a case manager for 20 years. For much of that time, she worked for insurance companies in their Medicaid HMO plans helping low-income people navigate the complicated healthcare system. "That's where I learned to really interact with the community," she says. "I fell in love with what I did." But after 12 years working for health plans, Connolly says corporate America lost its luster. That was when she decided to branch off and become an independent patient advocate. "So I took this leap of faith and thought I could do [advocacy] on my own." In 2002, Connolly took the first steps to establish her business. A friend's dad was ailing and he asked Connolly about what he should for his father and what options his family had. From there, Connolly did some Internet research about what it would take to start a patient advocacy business. She created a promotional brochure that listed her qualifications and joined and the Professional Patient Advocate Institute to promote her services. Connolly, the sole employee in her business, helps patients explore different treatment options so patients and their families can make well-informed decisions about care. She deals with paperwork and negotiates with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the highest benefit for the lowest out-of-pocket expense. She also monitors medication regimens, coordinates medical care, arranges transportation to appointments and deals with difficult issues, such as whether patients need additional care and supervision. Connolly has styled herself as an "independent patient advocate," noting that there wasn't anyone else in her region providing the same services as she was independently of a hospital, physician practice or healthcare plan. Through her web presence, Connolly says she had won countless workers' compensation contracts, which have provided a steady flow of income for her business. Connolly says she has also had a few geriatric clients and is now working to promote that side of her business more. Connolly provided patient advocacy services for her first geriatric client for five years until his death. The patient's son had located her through an online database of case managers. Patients' children, Connolly says, are definitely her target customers. She says that elderly patients might not seek out patient advocacy services on their own, but their adult children are more willing to pay for it, especially if they don't have the time to care to care for their parents on their own because of work or geographical issues. "I think the more we keep educating people about the need there is for [patient advocacy], it's going to be something for everyone," Connolly says. Connolly is trying to put patient advocacy in the forefront with some marketing tactics that she's using to promote her business. First, she's learning the basics of social media. She hired a social media consultant and created a Facebook page for Guiding Light and a profile on LinkedIn. She admits that she's still new to social media, but Connolly says it's becoming an increasingly important way to market a business. As far as more traditional marketing, Connolly originally set aside $3,000 for marketing and advertising purposes. Now, that number has swelled to about $5,000 and she's doing a mix of both online and print advertisements. At first, Connolly says she didn't actively market her business at first. She says she tried some lot of face-to-face marketing, but ultimately, didn't have much success. "I tried for a little bit walking into facilities and introducing myself. But marketing is not an easy thing for me." In terms of advertising, Connolly offers a word of caution: don't rely solely on word-of-mouth. When she first started her business, Connolly says she didn't do much networking, and the networking she did do was mostly with other healthcare professionals and organizations. While it's important to join professional organizations for the resources they offer, Connolly says she is now focusing more on networking in broader business groups who might not know about patient advocacy and the kinds of services she offers. "I decided to change my direction to target people who will be actually using my services instead of people who will be referring others to my services," she says. After changing her marketing strategy, Connolly joined what's known as a "leads group" in her community. The group includes business owners and sales professionals from non-competitive industries that help each other cultivate their businesses. Leads groups are often lead by state and local chambers of commerce. This year, Connolly decided it was time to ramp up her marketing. She took out some ad space in the Seniors Blue Book, a guide that provide seniors, caregivers and senior professionals a comprehensive source of services, senior housing options, resources and information. The book is available online and in several states, including Colorado. She said a large portion of her marketing budget went to this endeavor and she hopes to see a return on her investment. Connolly hopes her new efforts in marketing and social media will help bring in more clients. "I don't have a goal to have a huge number of patients," she explains.

Homes that Give | Aleta Antoinette, Realtor | Denver Colorado [cached]

Speaker- Marie Connolly, Owner-Guiding Light, LLC- or Call- 303.695.0115

Delivering Long-Term Services to a Family in Need - Professional Patient Advocate Institute [cached]

Posted by: Marie Connolly
I'm so glad that I hired Marie to help our family. She has made such a difference. I was at a crisis point with my elderly parents. Mom had just returned from the hospital after gallbladder failure and a four-day stint in a nursing home for rehab, which she hated. She has dementia, which makes dealing with a hospital stay quite challenging for her. My Dad also deals with severe pain and his own dementia issues. When my Mom returned home, both her and my Dad's issues escalated quickly in several ways. At this point, I had missed nearly three weeks’ worth of work due to Mom's hospital stay and it was close to the holidays. I was extremely stressed and didn't know where I would turn next. I had in-home care in place and had been managing my parent's lives for about three years at this point. I had reached a breaking point. Thankfully, I found Marie. She was able to come on board very quickly to help manage my parent's situation. She started managing many of the day-to-day issues I had been dealing with for years, including doctors, medications, caregivers and daily household needs. She provided a path forward and a plan for my parents and took a huge amount of stress off my shoulders. Marie has been able to help me navigate new benefits and is very familiar with the health systems that can be so tough to navigate. Marie is now an integral part of our care team and I have been able to return to work and to spending time with my wife and daughter. Her caring interaction and dynamic management of my parent's situation has allowed them to remain at home where they really want to be. She has made all the difference to our family and I'm so very grateful for her help. Marie Connolly is a professional patient advocate and founder of Guiding Light LLC.

Successfully Navigating Through a Broken System [cached]

Article submitted by Marie Connolly, Patient Advocate, Guiding Light, LLC.
For additional information call 303-695-0115. Visit their website - About Marie Connolly and GuidingLight, LLC Marie Connolly is an Independent Patient Advocate with more than 35 years experience in the healthcare system. She practices Complete Patient Advocacy and can be reached at: 303-695-0115. © 2012, All Rights Reserved by Marie Connolly, Posted December 2012 on

Guiding Light LLC [cached]

Marie Connolly Owner Guiding Light

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