One cold evening in late October, a group of concerned health care consumers braved the after-work slump to join a group of like-minded individuals for an evening of advocacy and storytelling. From the women of Bethany Baptist Church to young #Insulin4All activists, the room was packed with future advocates ready to learn.
How does legislative reform happen?
The evening began with Chuck Bell of Consumer Reports and Amanda Dunker of Community Service Society of New York teaching the life cycle of a legislative bill and highlighting when it’s important for consumers to advocate for the changes they want to see in their community. Spoiler alert: IT’S ALL OF THE TIME. We were lucky enough to have a surprise guest drop-in, Dawn Gresham, Health Policy Analyst/Community Liaison for Senator Liz Krueger. Gresham, a powerhouse of knowledge, provided insider tips on how to best convey your message to an elected official.
What’s your story?
Then came storytelling. Kistein Monkhouse of Patient Orator, spoke of her own experience with the health care system and taught the audience how to give their own “elevator pitch”. Patient advocate, Claudia Knafo, also told her story, and how misinformation on her doctor’s website led to a $101,000 medical bill. She emphasized the importance of channeling negative experiences into political action. In her case, sharing her story resulted in a tangible victory: the passing of a new law that ends most surprise billing in New York State.
The night ended with a rallying cry for similar events. So, stay tuned for an upcoming schedule in early 2020.
If you didn’t make it to our first Advocacy Hour, check out the highlights above. Video created by our very own Storytelling Advisor Kistein Monkhouse. Keep your eyes peeled, interviews from the evening will be released soon. Didn’t get a chance to tell your story? Email Emily Dore – firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experience.