by Kate Thomas, AADE Director of Advocacy
Being an advocate can be a lonely job. Despite the fact that advocates work to connect people and ideas and strive to build networks, it can be easy to feel like you are at it alone. Many advocates often question if they are doing the right thing, taking the right approach or talking to the right people. At AADE, our Advocacy Committee has been working to identify the challenges that exist for advocates and to think about ways to better connect and support diabetes educators involved with advocacy. As an organization, we want to ensure we are connecting our advocates and providing opportunities for advocates to exchange information and broaden their own support systems. We are also developing tools and resources to support these efforts. Below are a few examples of AADE’s approach to advocacy.
Advocacy Forum on My AADE Network: Did you know that AADE has a page dedicated to advocacy on My AADE Network? It’s called the “Advocacy Forum” and it’s similar to a COI and/or CB page. We post advocacy updates at least once a week, including relevant news and other items for discussion. We also share quarterly advocacy updates that detail AADE’s advocacy activities for the quarter. We have contributors that post blog posts on advocacy topics, and state advocates that regularly share updates on state legislation or other efforts. The Advocacy Forum allows advocates to stay in the loop on advocacy-related issues, while also allows advocates to exchange information, seek feedback and ask questions. Click here to subscribe to the Advocacy Forum on My AADE Network.
2019 Public Policy Forum: AADE is excited to announce that this year’s Public Policy Forum will be held May 20 and 21 in Washington, DC. As we work to advance the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Act, which will soon be re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, we felt it was critically important to return to Washington for this year’s PPF so that diabetes educators can meet directly with their congressional representatives. This event will feature opportunities to connect with other advocates and to develop an advocacy action plan for your state. We will be sending formal invitations out to CB leaders and State Grassroots Coordinators and hope to have attendance from all states. Please e-mail me with any questions.
Next Advocacy Townhall March 26: The AADE Advocacy Committee hosted its first ever advocacy tele-townhall on January 23. The townhall meeting was open to all AADE members and was meant to provide a discussion platform for diabetes educators who are active advocates or interested in learning more about advocacy. The townhall began with introductions and updates from the Advocacy Committee and staff on current advocacy initiatives, like the Expanding Access to DSMT Act, and state efforts like Medicaid coverage for CGM systems and non-medical switching. Interested participants were invited to share their own state updates and ask questions. Join the Advocacy Committee on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:00pm Eastern for our next tele-townhall meeting. Sign-up here!
Advocacy Website: The advocacy section of AADE’s website has a new look! The goal of the redesign was to streamline and simplify the advocacy content, and to provide more opportunities for advocacy engagement. Check out our advocacy guide, visit the Legislative Action Center and send a letter to your congressional representative, and explore our new toolkit that addresses non-medical switching.
AADE’s Advocacy Committee is always looking for ways to support our seasoned advocates, those new to advocacy, and those that are just interested in learning more. Have an idea? Let us know!