The ACR is accepting applications for its Advocacy 101 program, which is held in conjunction with Advocates for Arthritis each year. Apply today or encourage others at your practice or organization to get off the sidelines and involved in ACR advocacy efforts.
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Amanda Schnell, MD, assistant professor, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, who is in charge of this year’s event, describes the program and what ACR/ARP members will gain from participating.
What is Advocacy 101?
The Advocacy 101 program is an innovative advocacy training program designed for any individual who wants to get more involved in advocacy. In the past, it was open only to fellows and program directors, but now it is available to all ACR/ARP members. The program was created by forward-thinking ACR members, including our own Government Affairs Committee chair, Blair Solow, MD.
In the program, you will learn the foundations of how the federal government works, how to become a successful advocate and what are the best strategies to connect with the relevant policy stakeholders in different areas of government.
When is Advocacy 101?
The Advocacy 101 program will be held on the afternoon of Sept. 26, 2021. All Advocacy 101 participants will also get to take part in the ACR’s virtual fly-in, Advocates for Arthritis on Sept. 27–28.
What is the format of the training?
Advocacy 101 will be virtual again this year. The neat thing about a virtual program and Hill visits is that it opens up the opportunity for many people who may not have been able to travel to Washington, D.C. The training features a combination of speakers, small breakout groups and lively discussion to not only educate you on the basics of advocacy, but let you get to know and interact with some of your peers.
Why are skills learned during Advocacy 101 important for rheumatology providers?
As rheumatologists, we have a unique opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with our patients and be at the cutting edge of science with treatments for our diseases. Unfortunately, due to complexities and challenges such as prior authorization, pharmacy benefit managers and poor healthcare coverage, all too often we are unable to treat our patients with the medication that best fits their needs. During Advocacy 101, fellows can learn what issues are at stake, how to best advocate for themselves and their patients and what are the best ways to effect change.