Last modified: October 17, 2023
- VA-Accredited Claims Agent
- ACCC Financial Advocacy Boot Camp
- Bachelors in Marketing
- Financial Options
- VA Claims
- Veterans Outreach
As a Financial Advocate, Danielle’s area of expertise is assisting patients and families navigate the financial burdens a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis and treatment can present.
“This is a very emotional and worrisome time for patients,” Danielle said. “The last thing they should have to worry about is how they will afford treatment, or if they have the means to get to a center of excellence to receive top-of-the-line treatment.”
Danielle completed the Association of Community Cancer Centers Financial Advocacy Boot Camp in 2023. The certification prepares financial advocates to help patients address the issues of financial toxicity, which affects many patients and their loved ones during their cancer journey.
“It helped me understand how to maximize one’s health insurance benefits, what patients are eligible for and when,” Danielle said. “I also learned about co-pay assistance through private entities and when to check in with patients to try and prevent financial stress during treatment.”
In addition to helping patients understand what they can expect medically, financially and emotionally, Danielle has also worked with hundreds of veterans to get them the best VA treatment.
Providing Guidance to Veterans, Families
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs accredited Danielle to provide veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma and their families guidance on how to file VA claims and answer questions they may have about care at a VA hospital.
Danielle became a VA-accredited claims agent in August 2016. But she has been answering questions from all mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since she joined The Mesothelioma Center as a Patient Advocate in 2012, shortly after graduating from the University of Central Florida.
Because of her experience sharing historical information with veterans about their careers and roles in the military, Danielle is well versed on the basics of shipyards and other military occupations.
“Both my grandfathers served in the U.S. Army, and in addition to what their doctors told them, they also relied on me to tell them about what VA resources were available to them,” Danielle said. “Because of that experience, I know what veterans with mesothelioma need when it comes to information about VA benefits and how to file a claim. And they need it fast because their time is limited.”
Her biggest accomplishment has been her role in The Mesothelioma Center’s Veterans Outreach Program. Danielle visits Veterans Service Officers across the country to raise awareness about the medical and financial effects mesothelioma has on veterans.
“Veterans will visit their local VSOs, who we’ve previously talked to, and they will likely be better educated about the services the VA can offer them,” Danielle said. “I then help them with filing their paperwork and finding any other options that could benefit them and their families.”
Through years of experience, Danielle has made it her mission to ensure patients see top specialists for the best treatment options available. To help patients on this journey, she provides guidance with travel grants, copay assistance, Social Security benefits, legal benefits and VA benefits.
“I have been through cancer in my own family on two occasions. Receiving this life-changing news is hard enough to digest,” Danielle said. “Then trying to navigate through all the aspects of a cancer diagnosis during this emotional time is extremely challenging. It is my mission to take this burden off families. I want them to know they have our advocacy center to guide them every step of the way.”