HealthWatched is the blog of Joana Ramos of Seattle, an independent consultant on health policy issues, domestic, international and their intersection. Her work focuses on ending health inequalities by improving access to care for underserved populations, including access to appropriate, affordable medicines, and eliminating language barriers in health care. Over the past decade, a significant part of her work has been in the field of cancer care. After her own diagnosis with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that did not respond to treatment, she underwent a BMT (blood & marrow transplant), and later began to work on equity issues in this field. She was a reviewer of the Institute of Medicine’s 2005 report Cord Blood: Establishing a National Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank Program, and served on the Consumer Advocacy Committee of Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research from 2005-2007. Her work as Program Manager for the MAVIN Foundation’s Healthcare Access Project from 2006-07, resulted in the creation of the BMTBasics.org website.
Joana is also a community organization specialist, assisting a number of nonprofit groups. She is an active member of Healthy Skepticism, an international NGO dedicated to improving health by countering misleading promotions of medicines, and served on its Management Group from 2006-09, and has served as Director of the Washington State Coalition for Prescribing Integrity. Also a medical interpreter , Joana was a founding member of the Washington State Coalition for Language Access and serves as Chair of WASCLA’s Healthcare Committee, which incorporated the original Pharmacy Language Access Workgroup. She created this blog to share her observations and to inspire others to take action on a range of health and health care issues and topics.