How Our Patient Advocates Can Help

Our team of Patient Advocates at The Mesothelioma Center, the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource, provides free exclusive services, unique forms of support, medical resources and assistance navigating the health care system. Testimonials from people we’ve helped show our Patient Advocates are compassionate listeners who truly care about patients and their families.

Patient advocates on call at The Mesothelioma Center

Benefits of working with our Patient Advocates:

  • Help finding top mesothelioma specialists and cancer centers near you
  • Access to caregiver resources and patient and family support groups
  • Help navigating insurance and Medicare processes
  • Assistance with palliative care and end-of-life resources
  • Help getting compensation for lost wages, treatment costs and more
  • Assistance filing VA benefits claims
  • 15 Years
    serving victims of asbestos exposure
  • 50% of Patients
    diagnosed in the U.S. each year turn to us for help
  • Pen and paper icon
    1300+ VSOs
    trained to help with asbestos-related VA claims
  • 400 Relationships
    with the nation’s best mesothelioma specialists

Meet the Team

The patient advocates of The Mesothelioma Center

Our Patient Advocate team features registered nurses, a medical doctor, oncology patient navigator, military veteran, hospice expert and health service administrators.

They help patients find the best mesothelioma doctors at top-notch cancer centers, assist veterans applying for VA benefits and connect families to supportive services. Our Patient Advocates are available seven days a week to offer assistance and support.

Watch: Senior Writer Tim Povtak explains how Patient Advocates help patients and families.

Patient Advocates

  • Karen Selby
    Karen Selby, RN
    Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate
    Karen Selby is a registered nurse with a background in oncology and general, vascular and thoracic surgery. Her surgical and oncologic experience help her guide and educate patients on treatment options, clinical trials and how to access different types of support.
  • Snehal Smart
    Snehal Smart, M.D.
    Medical Doctor and Patient Advocate
    Snehal Smart is a medical doctor with a background in teaching and mentoring that she uses to educate patients on the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. She helps patients understand the types of testing they must undergo and what treatments to discuss with their doctor.
  • Stephanie Laureano
    Stephanie Laureano, RN, BSN
    Patient Advocate Director
    Stephanie Laureano is a registered nurse with experience in hospice care and home health. She also served four years in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps overseeing a cardiac life support program. She later served as a trauma nurse with the Air Expeditionary Force.
  • Vanessa Blanco
    Vanessa Blanco
    Patient Advocate and Oncology Patient Navigator
    Vanessa Blanco is a certified Oncology Patient Navigator with a Master of Science degree in Health Service Administration. She uses her professional and personal experiences to help patients and families access health care, emotional support and financial aid.
  • Amy pelegrin
    Amy Pelegrin
    Hospice Care Director
    Hospice Care Director Amy Pelegrin educates patients and caregivers about hospice and palliative care programs. She helps families understand all that hospice care can offer, guides patients through end-of-life resources and helps them access hospice care.
  • Joe Lahav
    Joe Lahav, Esquire
    Lawyer and On-Site Legal Advisor
    Joe Lahav earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida College of Law and is licensed to practice in Florida and Washington, D.C. He has been a legal advisor for The Mesothelioma Center since 2008 and managed the Patient Advocate team for seven years.

Veteran Support

  • aaron munz profile
    Aaron Munz
    Director of Veterans Department
    Aaron Munz is a former U.S. Army captain who served nine years in leadership, combat and strategic training. He assists veterans with the complicated paperwork and evidence required to file VA disability claims and helps them successfully file appeals.
  • Danielle Prietro
    Danielle DiPietro
    VA-Accredited Claims Agent
    Danielle DiPietro is a Patient Advocate and VA-accredited claims agent who ensures veterans understand and access VA benefits. She helps veterans fill out VA paperwork, gather information on prior asbestos exposure and submit VA claims correctly to facilitate approval.
headshot of aaron munz

Aaron Munz, Veterans Department Director

The Veterans Outreach team has built a network of cancer specialists and VA treatment centers that provide the best treatments for mesothelioma. Aaron Munz and the rest of the VO team work directly with veterans across the country, helping patients and families navigate VA disability claims for military asbestos exposure.

Medical Outreach

  • Missy Miller
    Missy Miller
    Medical Outreach Director
    Medical Outreach Director Missy Miller helps establish relationships with mesothelioma specialists throughout the country as part of our Doctor Match Program. Her background in psychology prepared her to serve the mental and emotional needs of families facing mesothelioma.
  • Jose Ortiz
    Jose Ortiz
    Medical Outreach Liaison
    Jose Ortiz is a Medical Outreach Liaison who has traveled throughout the country to create relationships with the best mesothelioma doctors and treatment centers. His prior experience in the pharmaceutical industry prepared him to build relationships with mesothelioma experts.
headshot of missy miller

Missy Miller, Medical Outreach Director

The Mesothelioma Center has built long-lasting relationships with cancer specialists and nationally recognized cancer centers across the U.S., thanks to Missy Miller and the Medical Outreach team. In addition to the Doctor Match program, which connects patients to local specialists and clinical trials, Medical Outreach provides resources for travel, financial assistance and more.

Get in Touch with Our Team

Do you have a question for one of our Patient Advocates? The form below will connect you with a Patient Advocate who will be in touch to answer your questions.

Have a Question?

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