Q: How can I get involved with advocacy at the Academy?
A: The American Academy of Dermatology Association’s (AADA) office in Washington, D.C. works closely with federal and state legislative and regulatory officials and their staff on behalf of Academy members and their patients every day. However, the AADA’s influence is only as strong as its most vocal and active members. There are several ways in which you can get involved with the AADA’s advocacy efforts:
- Write to your senators and representatives. Visit the Dermatology Advocacy Network (DAN) to find out how you can send a direct message to your federal or state representative or senator on the most important issues facing the specialty and its patients, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Advocate at the local level. Reach out to your state dermatology society or email email@example.com to learn about the issues impacting dermatology in your state or how to become involved. Visit the State Advocacy Toolkit to download valuable resources to educate, advocate and communicate with the public, media and policymakers about pressing state policy issues.
- Join the peer-to-peer advocacy network. The AADA has developed a Grassroots Advocacy Workgroup which is focused on engaging with a geographically dispersed group of dermatologists to serve as conduits of information about important policies between the Academy and its members to encourage greater grassroots participation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Meet your senators and representatives. Attend the AADA Legislative Conference in Washington D.C., and learn about issues affecting the specialty, get expert advice on how to get your message heard by legislators, and meet directly with members of Congress and their staff to voice dermatology’s concerns. Registration for the 2014 AADA Legislative Conference will open in April.
An organization’s influence is only as strong as its members’ advocacy efforts. To federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies, you are not merely constituents. You are experts who represent not only yourselves, but your profession, other physicians, and most importantly your patients. The AADA invites all members to get involved in advocacy.