ACR@Work: What is the most effective form of advocacy?
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueJune 2019
Dr. Bryant: Advocacy is a combination of personal connections with legislators at the local, state or national level. That can entail participating in Capitol Hill visits or visiting local legislative offices. Many legislators appreciate local visits from their constituents. Our ability to show support and interest in legislators through conversations and through financial contributions is key to advancing our advocacy efforts. It is important to participate in advocacy both through contributions and by keeping abreast of ACR issues. The ACR website has an advocacy link where any member can gather information on current advocacy issues. Besides visiting local offices or going to events in the district, many rheumatologists and healthcare providers have invited legislators to their offices to see rheumatology care in action. These types of activities have a great impact.
ACR@Work: How d0 you address concerns from members about where their money goes when they donate to RheumPAC?
Dr. Bryant: I emphasize that the decisions about the distribution of funds from RheumPAC is based on where a legislator stands on current ACR issues and whether that legislator holds a leadership position or key committee assignment. In addition, all contributions to candidates are first discussed and researched by RheumPAC, with assistance from ACR staff, before any vote is taken. These decisions are not based on whether the individual legislator is a Democrat, Republican or Independent. Finally, it is important to note that over time, the distribution of contributions to legislators eventually evens out among the political parties, depending on which party is in the majority.
For More Information
If you are interested in joining your colleagues in rheumatology advocacy, visit rheumpac.org to learn more about current policy issues and RheumPAC.
Maura Iversen, BSc, PT, DPT, SD, MPH, is professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences at Northeastern University, a behavioral scientist in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, Boston.