About Suzanne Fiscella, PA-C, BCPA, MS, MLS
Advocate – Educator – Speaker – Coach – Author
Suzanne is a practicing Physician Assistant in Urgent Care Medicine in Ft. Myers, FL. She is author of The Patient Best® Medical History Book, The Patient Best® Professional Advocate Course, The Ultimate Caregiver’s Guide,
And Memories of My Loved One, just to name a few.
She is the founder/owner of Caregiver Haven and of Patient Best®, LLC as well a founding Board Member of The Patient Education Movement, Inc, a non-profit organization to help patients gain access to care.
She grew up in a home watching her father practice old fashioned medicine; making house calls and knew all his patients by name. Suzanne spent 30 years in education as a secondary science teacher and college professor.
At age 50, she returned to school to pursue a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. After years in Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine, she re-entered the education arena to write courses on healthcare education and patient-physician care.
Frustrated by the lack of transparency and communication between patients and their physicians, Suzanne founded Patient Best®, LLC, a professional advocate service which advises caregivers and their loved ones how to solve healthcare and aging problems. Witnessing firsthand the stress and anxiety of family caregivers she then founded Caregiver Haven to assist caregivers in “Getting Their Lives Back” while providing care for their loved ones.
Because her passion also encompasses the frustration felt by many physicians and their patients, she has become a national voice to bring medicine back to the personal care level, healing fragmented healthcare, one patient at a time.
Healthcare mistakes are the #3 cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. We have to stop this trend. The Patient Best® Medical History Binder is the cornerstone of change for significant safe and better outcomes in modern medicine today. While the Ultimate Caregiver’s Guide is the foundation for happiness on which all family caregiver’s should base their lives.
Many caregivers feel pulled in different directions as they try to satisfy the needs of their parents, their own families, their jobs, and lastly, themselves. I once heard an excellent definition of caregiving… "It’s an ever-changing journey with new problems demanding quick solutions.”
The caregiver who changed my life
One day this lovely daughter came in with her mom. Since I was getting nowhere with her Mom, I asked the daughter if I could show her something in the lab. At which point, we left the exam room.
I turned and asked her how I could help her…help her mom. She fell into my arms, the flood gates opened, and the tears just could not stop. And I didn’t want them to…I wanted her to tell me everything…
I never realized the pain, loneliness, and grief this dear daughter had pent up inside of her. What kind of caring professional was I if I couldn’t treat the WHOLE family? Thus, my journey began…
I now see hundreds of caregivers each living in their own silence. Worry, loneliness, depression, guilt, and frustration overwhelm our lives… which are already filled with stress.
So, I built a community of incredible professionals who are dedicated to helping caregivers with their knowledge and expertise. The caregivers in our community share a unique bond of struggle, but still enjoy the love and laughter.
My own caregiving journey
As I began my own journey in caregiving when my mom could no longer take care of herself and moved in with me. She would tell me stories about the “old days” and the struggles of growing up poor, how her generation was a generation who survived starvation, wars, and the Spanish flu of 1918 as well as the depression of 1929. She always told me to never forget that “old people had a life, too”.
She also gave me pause, worry, and self-doubt as I struggled with her disabilities and decline. I did not know where or how to deal with these issues because I was emotionally held hostage.
Suzanne with her daughter and mom
Over the years, I have become a national speaker on caregiving. As I continue to speak and practice today, I ask the caregivers in my audiences and in my exam rooms what their caregiving roadmap looks like.
The silence is deafening.
So my hope with Patient Best® AND Caregiver Haven™ is to reach out to as many caregivers as I can and give them the formula they must have to take with them as this experience unfolds.
Get my 6 RULES OF CAREGIVER SUCCESS to get you started.
Hundreds of caregivers have come together to share their experiences and knowledge on caregiving. These 6 RULES… will give you the first simple steps to get you well on your way to easy caregiving.
When I am not busy writing , speaking and seeing patients, you can find me boating, fishing, walking the beach or spending time with my three children.
I now live in sunny Ft Myers, FL. I moved here after raising my family in Lexington, KY.
I can be contacted at Suzanne@PatientBest.com.
Suzanne with her 3 children: Sarah, David, and Jonny
About Kat Schwarzhoff
Membership Coordinator – Certified Dementia Practitioner - Mentor
Kat moved from Washington DC, where she worked for many years in communications and hospitality, to St. James City, Florida in 2007. Kat began her career in senior healthcare at Gulf Coast Village, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, in Cape Coral, Florida, as a Senior Living Counselor and later served as its Director of Sales. Since then, she has continued her career in senior housing with a focus on dementia care.
She has earned the title of “Certified Dementia Practitioner” through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. The Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida has certified Kat to instruct their six-week course “Power Tools for Caregivers” designed to educate non-professional caregivers.
As Life Care Coordinator for local Elder Law Attorney, Beth A. Prather, she was a resource for families and a support person for caregivers. She assisted clients with finding and advocating good care for their loved ones
She is on the Board of Directors with the United Way in St. James City and volunteers to assist local residents and their families with caregiving for loved ones. As a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association-Florida Gulf Coast Chapter she has hosted caregiver support groups and promoted the association’s traveling “Brain Mobile.”
As Membership Coordinator with Caregiver Haven, Kat looks forward to getting to know all of you and assist in any way she can – support, advocacy, education, provide resources, or just be a shoulder to cry on.
In her spare time, she likes to boat with her husband Billy, read, and relax with her three cats, Mr. Peepers, Stinker and Grayson. She purchased a sewing machine to keep busy while in “lock down” and still has a long way to go to perfect this talent!
Each caregiving journey is different. Every senior will age differently. The rate of aging, the disease which will eventually take them. Their silence, their aches, and pains which they mask will hold every caregiver hostage.
No one needs to do this alone….Let’s start with your free tips so you can have the peace of mind to know you are doing everything right…