Becky Martins’ advocacy spirit derives from the days when she was driving a family member 150 miles round-trip, three days a week, to dialysis treatments. She spent countless hours at the unit visiting with patients and their families. It was through their stories that she learned of the many challenges faced by patients living with chronic illness. It was by their example that she learned of the resilience of the human spirit to face health and health-related challenges head-on. The unit was her classroom, and her teachers were the patients and families, along with the unit staff who cared for them. The experience became the impetus for her advocacy on behalf of end-stage renal disease patients. In 1996, Becky was the recipient of the Kidney Foundation of Maine Board of Trustees’ Service Award for 10 years of service.
In 2002, Becky founded Voice4Patients.Com: an initiative to empower patients to be their own health care advocates. The site advocated building partnerships between patients and providers – and provided information and tools to strengthen consumer skills.
Becky Martins is a champion of patient- and family-centered care, effective communication in health care, and patient and family involvement: from the board room to examining room. She is a TMIT Patient Advocate Team Member; a Patients for Patient Safety Champion of the World Healthcare Organization’s World Alliance of Patient Safety; and a past member of National Patient Safety Foundation’s Patient & Family Advisory Councils. She was a contributor to “Opportunities for Patient and Family Involvement” – Chapter Nine of the National Quality Forum’s Safe Practices for Better Healthcare – 2009 Update: A Consensus Report.
The 121st Maine Legislature presented Ms. Martins with a Special Sentiment for her patient safety advocacy. She is a recipient of the Pete Conrad Patient Safety Excellence Award.