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Welcome to

the Merit Option

I'm Meridith, and I unveil the value of the patient experience.

Writer, speaker, and community leader, Meridith O’Connor is a health and wellness advocate dedicated to informing others about the patient voice and the lived experience of patients with chronic illness. Drawing from her personal journey with a rare neuromuscular disorder as well as her educational background in psychology, healthcare ethics, and medical social work, O’Connor works diligently to encourage a healthy appreciation for the patient perspective.  Whether working on an individual, communal or global level, O’Connor provides her personal and professional expertise within the healthcare industry to educate, engage, and empower others with the intent to inspire greater awareness, productive dialogue, and welcomed diversity. An innovative thinker, passionate leader, and progressive change-maker, O’Connor strives for a world that cultivates supportive spaces for the chronic illness community and recognizes the value patients have to offer.




Hi! I'm Meridith, and I am the mind, body, and spirit behind the Merit Option. I wear many hats, but my expertise lies under the large umbrella of patient advocacy.


Never in my wildest dreams did I think my life would be directly impacted by chronic illness. Moreover, I quickly learned that chronic illness can, and will, affect more than just your physical abilities.

I gave myself two options: to let this disease and the societal interpretation of disability define me, or; let me define it. I chose the latter.

Through the Merit Option, my priority is to educate, engage, and empower both the chronically ill and the able-bodied community to do the same. Together, we can develop a deeper appreciation for those touched by chronic illness and embrace the value patients provide. 

Want to get to know me a little bit better and how I landed in this industry? Interested in learning more about the Merit Option? Click below to get all the information you need!

Hospital Bed
Holding Hands
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Advocacy Work


An avid writer, Meridith is recognized both nationally and internationally by several organizations dedicated to patient empowerment, education, and support. Her written work has been featured on numerous digital platforms and utilized to teach others about the chronic illness community and advocate for those within. Meridith creates content that is informative and intentional, keeping readers captivated by her relatable approach. Articulate and purposeful, Meridith eloquently communicates messages with clarity and precision. With an appreciation for the various perspectives that hold stake within the healthcare system, Meridith seeks to effectively connect with her audience by understanding both clients and consumers.


Meridith frequently serves as an invited guest speaker for local and national organizations; collaborating with nonprofit agencies, academic institutions, and healthcare associations to promote awareness campaigns, advocacy efforts, and donor relations. Meridith is aware of her audience and has an innate understanding of how to strategically address her listeners that is both compelling and expressive. Whether speaking to distinguished leaders or developing youth, Meridith appeals to a variety of addressees as a result of her intrinsic passion for helping others and consideration of the biological, psychological and social factors that impact the giving and receiving of healthcare. 


An advisor for many nonprofit associations and healthcare organizations, Meridith provides input and intelligence for those looking to improve current practices and services. With collaboration and guided expertise, Meridith counsels her clients to respect the patient and provider positions as well as the general healthcare consumers. When participating in such partnerships, Meridith involves herself in the enhancement of organizational impact, branding and mission promotion, and vision formation and articulation. Meridith is skilled in guiding individuals and groups, believes in the power of strong alliances, and applies the knowledge she has gained over the years to ensure unity and cohesion.



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For What It's Worth is my personal blog. Catch up on all my blog posts here!


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