Jo's Bio

Attorney Jo Kline is a graduate of Iowa State University and Drake University Law School. Her research, writing and speaking focus on the demographics of health care, patient rights and health care's approaching perfect storm. Like many of her followers and readers, Jo became interested in the issue of medical decision making after witnessing a loved one's end of life. She began to research, speak and write about the crucial role of advocacy in health care decision making over 20 years ago, while serving as volunteer chair of Iowa's largest hospice. But it was Jo's own medical crisis years later that taught her what it means to be truly health literate, and that's what led her to recognize the perfect storm threatening health care access and patient safety.

When Jo began to write her most recent book, Patient or Pawn?, her mission was simple: First, to explore the demographics of aging and chronic illness that jeopardize our rights to consent, autonomy and safety in health care; and then to share strategies for patients' and providers' self-preservation. Relying on more than 500 scholarly and statistical resources, that's exactly what she has done.

Jo is also the author of The Practical Guide to Health Care Advance Directives, The 60-Minute Guide to Health Literacy and the award-winning SO GROWS THE TREE – Creating an Ethical Will. Among other print, online and broadcast media, Jo has been featured in The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, the American Bar Association's journal Bifocal, Healthcare Business TodayThe Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, HuffPost and LifeZette. She is a contributor to online news outlets, a frequent guest essayist for The DesMoines Register and the author of its 12-week series Health Literacy 101.

Jo Kline has now incorporated her unique expertise in demographics, the health care workforce and health literacy into an innovative initiative, Bridges to Health Care Access. To preserve rights to access, autonomy and safety, it's important to first appreciate what's propelling this perfect storm. Through Bridges, Jo unveils the hard facts being ignored by leadership and the crucial strategies individuals can use to achieve best health outcomes. See the "BRIDGES" page for more details.

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Press Release for Patient or Pawn?