Manhattan Beach Plastic Surgery provides aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries for patients in the South Bay and from all over the world. Patient Advocate Amy Granzow has been helping patients at the practice, owned by her husband, Dr. Jay Granzow, for the last eight years. She graduated from USC summa cum laude with a major in music industry and then graduated from U.C. Hastings law school in San Francisco. She practiced aerospace and government contracts law for 12 years in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles before becoming a full-time Patient Advocate.
“We care for each patient how we would want care for our family members.”
What sets Manhattan Beach Plastic Surgery apart from the rest?
“Our office provides the highest level of care for our patients. We define medical care as not only the expertise and experience on the part of the surgeon but as the entire experience from the first phone call to the last visit. We care for each patient how we would want care for our family members.”
What is the secret to your success?
“The secret is that I am supported by a team of dedicated and awesome women! We work together to help patients navigate the increasing obstacles created by insurance companies to deny coverage for their reconstructive surgeries. In the last eight years, we have helped patients successfully overturn more than 90% of coverage denials—resulting in hundreds of patients getting their reconstructive surgeries.”
Who inspired you to choose to work in the medical profession?
“My daughter, Cora, inspired me to advocate for others. I became her health advocate because Cora cannot speak or advocate for herself. Two weeks before her second birthday, she was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome—a severe genetic disorder. We were told she would never talk, read or write and would be severely mentally handicapped. At that moment I became Cora’s staunch advocate. My husband and I focus on providing the best opportunities for Cora to learn and grow.
Although she faces tremendous challenges, her progress has been impressive. She walks, runs and loves to dance. Although she utters few words, Cora has improved in her ability to navigate her iPad and a software program that speaks for her.
Unfortunately I have had to rely heavily on my lawyering and advocacy skills to navigate the complicated health care system and health insurance issues that are involved with Cora’s care. Patients who face challenges with their health insurance need someone like me to help them fight against these bullies.”
What motivates you?
“Each patient has her or his own powerful story and journey that motivates me to be their voice. A grateful patient recently told me that being a Patient Advocate is my ‘calling.’”
Are you a believer in trusting instincts?
“Absolutely. Instincts are intangible but powerful. Trusting my ‘gut’ has served me well in my legal practice, as an advocate for my patients and my daughter, and as a mom. I believe that my ‘gut’ has grown wiser over the years, especially after I became a mother.”
How would your clients describe you?
“Patients describe me as dogged, determined and passionate. I have earned the nickname ‘the Punisher’ in advocating for patients in the health insurance appeal process. This moniker makes me sound like a WWF wrestling star, but I’m proud of it. My patients know that I do not back down and I have no trouble standing firm against health insurance companies.”
How do you maintain a healthy balance between work and family life?
“I strive for a healthy balance even if that seems quite impossible most of the time. I studied classical piano for many years and really enjoy playing piano and writing music to decompress and unwind.”
What is your favorite thing about life in the South Bay?
“The best part of life in the South Bay is that we are part of the American Martyrs community. Our son, Max, attended American Martyrs Preschool for two years and started kindergarten at American Martyrs School this fall. Cora just started attending American Martyrs Preschool (with an aide), following in Max’s footsteps. The American Martyrs community has embraced Cora and our entire family. We feel the love and are so touched by this warm welcome.”
In what ways do you give back?
“We are strong members of the Angelman community—both locally and nationally—and also give back to local charities and organizations. My husband is a member of Walk With Sally’s advisory board, and we have supported the Richstone Family Center for many years.”