Erin Carrigan is working the phones.
As a referral coordinator for General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, she often finds herself advocating on patients’ behalf. This day is like many others within the Eating Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Carrigan navigates through patients’ insurance plans. She counsels anxious families. She provides words of encouragement.
“We want to make sure our patients get the care that they need, and I’m here to advocate for them, especially our teens,” Carrigan explains.
An eating disorder can be a difficult diagnosis. It’s complicated on many levels. Often, Carrigan finds herself writing letters, filing appeals, lodging complaints. It can take days, weeks, even months, but she knows what to say and when to say it.
On this day, a break in the clouds. Carrigan discovers a new route to getting coverage for the care the patient needs.
“I never want parents to feel alone,” she says. “The stigma of an eating disorder can be a lot for a family to handle. They need someone there to advocate for them through this complex process.”