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Executive Healthcare Consultant & Wellness Thought Leader – Exclusive Interview With Claudia Cometa

Dr. Claudia Cometa is a leader in healthcare consulting, advocacy, and elevating the patient experience. Her father's death left her with a compelling need to fill an identified gap in the medical system. She has since dedicated her life to helping individuals find answers, clarity and peace in a chaotic system. She is the Founder and CEO of Peace Advocacy Group, a nationwide advocacy company dedicated to elevating the patient experience.

Image photo of Claudia Cometa

Claudia Cometa, Executive Healthcare Consultant

Why did you leave your traditional job as a clinical pharmacist to create a company dedicated to healthcare navigation and advocacy?

After over a decade working on the clinician side of the healthcare equation, I faced the same system from the patient perspective as my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma. I was shocked, saddened, frustrated, and in disbelief. As a pharmacist, I navigated conversations with physicians and other healthcare professions with ease. As a patient’s family member, similar interactions became challenging, impersonal, dismissive, and cold. During my pharmacy career, I believed medical errors were relatively rare and quickly acted upon when discovered. On the patient side, I found errors to be frequent and their consequences to be underappreciated.

I knew, after the year of advocating for my dad, that my purpose in this life was to do for others what I did for him. So, without any meaningful entrepreneurial experience or knowledge, I proceeded in faith and stepped forward in imperfection. I knew how to do the work, but I had no idea how to create a company, or even a website.

My commitment and dedication to elevate the patient experience pushed me forward and I’m so grateful I persevered through those initial challenges.

How does your daily work look now compared to your years as a pharmacist?

As a pharmacist, I completed the work I was told to do. Whether it was consulting with patients or dispensing medications, there was a clear black and white nature to the task at hand. I reported to a boss, felt overburdened by an impossible workload, and often found myself in conversation with coworkers about the apparent injustices in the system.

Now, as a business owner and a healthcare consultant, my only interest is that of my clients. During the onboarding process, we establish their top three goals for working together and that becomes our north star. There is no black and white; only a beautiful shade of gray that allows us to steer the boat, assess our direction and progress, and recalibrate as needed. Every client’s needs, goals, and situations are vastly different, which allows the art of healthcare to be appreciated as we paint the canvas of their future together.

In short, the two worlds are so different and I fully believe I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the latter without experiencing the former.

What are some of the issues with the healthcare system and what vision do you hold for change?

The current healthcare landscape is suboptimal for both the providers of care as well as the recipients. Physicians are largely unsupported by their administration, being required to work an unsustainable and unhealthy number of hours with insufficient staff. They spend much of their time completing a burdensome amount of charting as well as paperwork initiated by insurance companies requiring endless justification for their medical decisions.

Due to the traditional medical business model, time with patients is limited and insufficient to address all of their concerns. As a result, patients often feel dismissed, unheard, and fearful of their prognosis. Patients are then left to make decisions about their treatment options with limited education and consent and mostly out of a sense of urgency and fear.

In the absence of the pandemic, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US.

I hold a grand and optimistic vision for change in healthcare. One that eliminates decision-making power by insurance companies. One that encourages physicians to take the time necessary for self-care and rest. One that empowers patients to make decisions about their care that are fully aligned with their goals. One that is forward-thinking and less bound by rigid guidelines and fear of litigation. One that honors and respects the body’s ability to heal and only utilizes medication and surgery when absolutely necessary to save a life.

You speak about the importance of shifting how we think about our health rather than being told what to think. Can you expand on this?

I have immersed myself in business coaching and mentoring for many years and one singular theme continues to come up – how we think is the ultimate game changer. In the process of identifying our subconscious limiting belief systems and paradigms, we begin to unlearn what isn’t serving us and relearn what will.

In a similar way, many people hold beliefs about their health and the medical system that may be negatively impacting them. These may be generational or cultural, such as believing the physician is an authority figure who shouldn’t be questioned. Shifting how we think about the patient-physician relationship can help us reframe this. The physician can begin to be seen as an educated and experienced consultant who has been hired to give patients their opinion. This opinion can then either be accepted or rejected by the patient and a second opinion can be obtained if the patient wishes.

Ultimately, a new paradigm can be built that allows for open-mindedness, empowerment, and permission to make individual choices.

Do you have any upcoming projects you are working on?

My first book will be released late summer to early fall of 2024! I am excited to bring this passion project to the world.

Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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