Tammy points out that the basics of health advocacy are to know your issue(s), stay focused on key points, have a few facts, know what committees the policy maker sits on, tie it to a constituent concern, and leave a written leave-behind piece. But besides the key structural elements of health advocacy mentioned above, Tammy reminds us that advocates can’t forget why the issue is important and the difference it will make to real people. For Tammy, MS advocacy is personal—her mother has MS. In addition to being a health policy expert, Tammy finds herself in the role of affected family caregiver.
Throughout her post, Tammy talks about her own experiences with advocacy. As Tammy says, “I remind others that while policymakers can pick apart your budgetary requests, they can never argue with your story. This is where you bring the head and heart together.” Tammy often uses her mom to help her make her point while advocating, but she also uses her own life experiences. Advocacy is, and should be, personal.
In her post, Tammy takes time to teach all of us something about advocacy. Thank you, Tammy, for sharing your story!