Ashton Nesmith-Kochera

BCPA
A Patient Advocate LLC.
Ashton
legacy member

Ashton Nesmith-Kochera

BCPA
A Patient Advocate LLC.
Advocate Location
Martinsburg , WV 25404
Specialty
Medical Guidance
Other Services
Survivor Support
TeleAdvocacy Available
Offers FREE Initial Consultation
(240) 209-9808 Email Advocate
*Greater National Advocates Terms of Use Apply
How I Can Help
Through my independent patient advocacy practice as a Board Certified Patient Advocate, I help bring peace of mind to clients and their care partners as they navigate the complex healthcare system with chronic illness through advocacy, education, support, and inspiration.

Offering consultations --

• Healthcare System Navigation:
I will help address your issues, concerns, and hindrances while answering questions, gathering resources, and referrals as needed all while accompanying you every step of the way through navigating the healthcare system.

• Healthcare Planning:
Healthcare planning doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ll help you map out an organized and informed plan for your unique health needs.

• Healthcare Research:
With all the healthcare information that exists, it can be hard to navigate which options are right for your needs. I’ll perform healthcare research and provide you with options. Let's end the loop of going in circles due to information overwhelm.

• Healthcare Crisis (Advocacy, Education, & Support):
I am your dedicated advocate, educator, and support system for when you need it most. If you’re experiencing a health crisis, you don’t have to go it alone. *Please see disclaimer at bottom of website and know that if you are experiencing an emergency please contact your doctor, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.

• Self-Advocacy Coaching:
I will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and tools to make informed decisions and understand how to best advocate for your health and health care needs.
Important Information About Me
  • I offer a FREE Initial Consultation
  • I offer TeleAdvocacy Service
  • I am insured
  • My geographical area of practice is Eastern Pandhandle of WV and the surrounding areas of MD & VA.
My Survivor Support Advocacy Qualifications
I am a survivor of Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome, POTS, MCAS
I have been trained and/or certified as a peer mentor.
I have been trained as a support group leader.
Myself, daughter & mother all have EDS. So in addition to being a Board Certified Patient Advocate and EDS Support Group Leader, I also have many years experience living with these same conditions & being a caretaker to my loved ones with the same conditions.
Why I Became A Professional Health Care Advocate
My own experiences with chronic illness have taught me how frustrating and challenging it can be to get the care you need. While my unpredictable healthcare needs ripped my dreams from underneath me of becoming a teacher, I became extremely passionate about education.

Through my experience with a traumatic pregnancy, birth, and a NICU stay with my daughter, I was empowered to help others like you with patient advocacy. It inspired me to become a birth doula and cofound a 501C3 childbirth advocacy organization over a decade ago.

​Although I couldn’t teach as I originally planned, I am grateful to impact others on similar healthcare journeys. My experiences led me to start a local support group, Tri-State EDS, in 2015 that has accumulated over four-hundred members to date.

​Then, a few months after losing my father to a pulmonary embolism, I became a Board-Certified Patient Advocate in early 2018. My life had come full circle, and I felt confident that I was right where I needed to be.

After becoming trained as a trauma-informed professional, I developed a greater understanding of mental health conditions and neurodiversity. Seven years of near-daily research, the intersection of chronic illness and neurodiversity sparked my interest.

In 2021, I became co-owner of Trifecta Health Connections, Inc., and enrolled in UC Berkeley’s graduate health advocacy program. In addition to patient advocacy consultations, I offer CE courses and also help bring a voice to universities, medical schools, conferences, and have experience within legislative advocacy advocating toward a more patient-centered model.

I have a unique story and have written parts of it over the years within three patient advocacy books. I’ve also had the honor of sharing it while raising awareness at NIH and even The U.S. Capitol during Patient Congress in 2018 and 2019.

The mantra I live by today is that life is what you make it, and tomorrow is never promised. I nourish my mind, body, and soul daily so I can live life to the fullest all while advocating to help ensure a more person-centered experience without invalidation and medical error.
Contact Advocate
Formal Education
UC Berkeley, Health Advocate Graduate Program

University of Phoenix - Axia College, Education/Elementary Education (BSEd/E)

Hagerstown Community College, Elementary Education
Additional Skills
Specializing in chronic illness & neurodiversity.

Passionate about advocating for person-centered care, validation, support, knowledge, and informed choices to help empower patients and their families/caretakers.

Patient Expert in the trifecta of Hypermobility Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS & EDS), Dysautonomia/Postural Orthostatic Tachycadia Syndrome (POTS), Mast Cell Disorders/Mast Cell Activiation Syndrome (MCAS)

In addition to experience in high-risk pregnancy & pre-term labor/delivery/birth/childbirth, NICU, Doula/childbirth preparation and planning,

Knowledgable about Long-Covid.

Offering integrative and holistic approaches to help control the chronic illness spiral/domino effect.

Trauma-Informed and committed to making mental health a priority within wellness.
Professional Affiliations
Certifications:

National Board Certified Patient Advocate (Patient Advocate Certification Board - PACB), March 2018, Renewed January 2022

Trauma-Informed Professional, December 2019

Birth Doula Certification (Childbirth International), April 2009


Memberships/Volunteer Work:

Current:

EDS Awareness/Tri-State EDS - Founder & Support Group Leader

Greater National Advocates, Founding Member

The Zebra Network - Volunteer & Board Member

Maryland Area Patient Advocates (MAPA)

The Patient's Podium - Advisory Board Business Chair

Dysautonomia International - Past volunteer work/member

MoMMa's Voices & Pre-Eclampsia Foundation - Registry Member & Champion

Alliance of Professional Health Advocates - Member

Mastocytosis Society - Member

NAMI - Member

Health Union/WEGO Health


Past:

National Patient Advocate Foundation - Grassroots Volunteer/Legislative Advocate

U.S. Pain Foundation - Ambassador

Neuroimmune Foundation

Patient Advocate Certification Board - Test Writing Committee Member (after 1st cohort), October 2018

CampaignZERO: Families for Patient Safety, Community Educator/Speaker

oneEDSvoice - Volunteer

EDS Wellness - Advocacy & Education Coordinator & Patient Advisory Board Member

Hagerstown Birth - Co-Founder Volunteer & Board Member


Certificates:

WellBe - Holistic Patient Advocacy & Navigation Program - (8.0 CEUs - in progress), December 2020

HealthAdvocateX - Whole Person Advocacy: Integrating Mental Health (11.0 CEUs), November 2020

National Patient Advocate Foundation, Policy Consortium Fall 2020: Rural Health Care, November 2020

National Patient Advocate Foundation, Patient Congress, 2020, 2019, 2018

GreyZone - COVID-19 Advocacy: Lessons Learned & Opportuntites Ahead (1.0 CEU), May 2020

Patient Advocate Certification Board: COVID-19 Overview & Advocacy Best Practices (1 CEU), March 2020

APHA - Strategies for Overcoming the Paralysis of Analysis (1.0 CEU), January 2020

WASHAA Webinar: Financial Toxicity (1.0 CEU), November 2019

HIPAA - Certificate of Completion, 2016 & 2018


Recognition:

Berkeley County Schools, WV - Ambassador, 2019-2020 School Year

WEGO Health Awards, Finalist Judge, 2018-2021

WEGO Health Awards, Nominee for Patient Leader Hero, 2018 & 2019

Recognition by West Virginia Governor, Earl Ray Tomblin for Advocacy Service, 2016


Publications:

White Paper: The Intersection of Chronic Illness and Neurodiversity, October, 2021
https://bit.ly/3v4vJ7j

Highway to Heart, Humor, and Honesty in Healthcare - (Charity/Anthology) - Forward by Dr. Lucian Leape & multiple co-authors. Co-Authored a Chapter on Patient Advocacy - June 2020

Our Stories of Strength: Living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Anthology) - Edited by Kendra Neilsen Myles & Mysti Reutlinger, Forward by Dr. Claire Francomano - Co-Authored My Personal Story, 2015

The Driscoll Theory (Validated & Newly Revised Versions) by Dr. Diana Driscoll - Co-Authored My Personal Story, 2015

Presentations (Speaker/Lobbyist/Activist):

National Patient Advocate Foundation, Spoke during Patient Congress at The U.S. Capitol, 2018 & 2019, Guest Blog Post "Let My Story Be a Reminder", June 2020

Polka Dot Powerhouse, Spoke on Patient Advocacy, May 2020

Ogen Newspapers (news article was picked up by more than a dozen news companies after being run in Northern Virgina Daily, Journal News, Frederick News-Post), COVID-19 Perspective, April 2020

Patient Safety Radio (iHeart Radio, Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Sticher, TuneIN, Spotify), Radio Interview "Patient to Advocate", January 2020

Shepherd University - Spoke on Patient Safety, March 2019

The Ehlers-Danlos Society, Patient Advocacy Article, May 2018

Shepherdstown Chronicle, Patient Advocacy News Article, May 2018

WDVM News, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month Advocacy, May 2018

Rare Disease Legislative Advocates & EveryLife Foundation, 2017

Healthy Mothers Healthy Birth Summit, 2011

MOPS, Guest Speaker on Pregnancy & Childbirth, 2011