Betsy Smith – Caring for Husband with Bone Marrow Cancer while Advocating for Patient Safety

According to John Hopkins more than 250,000 deaths a year are the result of medical errors.

Betsy and her husband, Jack, met in 1997. She was forty nine years old. He was fifty nine years old. They married and had twenty two wonderful years together.

Jack was diagnosed with MDS – bone marrow cancer in 2014 and died in 2018.

All of her life, Betsy has been an advocate. She was an advocate for students for almost twenty years in her role as Provost and Vice President at Pensacola State College.

She was an advocate for women and served as a Mentor and Coach to women in the workforce.

When Jack was diagnosed with MDS, Betsy learned the importance of being an advocate for patients in the healthcare system. She also became painfully aware that caregivers and advocates lack education, confidence and boldness.

She founded ​Be Bold Advocates​ to teach family and friends of patients the importance of patient advocacy and how to be an effective patient advocate. She also works with business and industry to teach them how to keep their employees who are also caregivers/advocates. FYI – The average caregiver is a 49 year old woman employed full time. 60% of these women leave the workforce to become a full time caregiver. (National Alliance for Caregiving, 2015)

Betsy shares her real life situations in which her advocacy literally saved Jack’s life. For example, one time Jack’s name label was placed on someone else’s blood vial! That resulted in her going to talk with the hospital CEO.

Betsy is an author (co-author of “Second Blooming for Women: Growing a Life that Matters after Fifty”), professional speaker (has spoken nationally and internationally), and Mentor/Advocate.

A proud Texas Aggie, Betsy’s master’s and doctoral degrees are from Texas A&M University. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Texas.

Betsy lives in Pensacola, Florida with her two dogs, Gibbs and Ziva.

Be Bold Advocates