ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee Interns in Their Own Words

I had the great opportunity to attend my first ASN public policy committee meeting this month in Washington, DC. The meeting started with a briefing about the current state of health care in the US, as well as a discussion about many hot topics affecting people with kidney disease and the physicians who treat them. The topics discussed felt vital and relevant to what I read about in the news and what I experience in my daily practice. I then had the great opportunity to participate in my first Hill Day. It was exciting to be a part of Team Clambakes and Crabcakes, an homage to our home states of Massachusetts and Maryland. As part of the team, I had the opportunity to learn the art of advocacy from the extremely skilled and eloquent Deidra Crews, MD, Dan Weiner, MD, Mallika Mendu, MD, and David White, our dialysis and transplant veteran. I found my time in Washington to be extremely interesting and exciting. It has definitely inspired me to further pursue my interests in public policy.

This experience highlighted to me the importance of physician involvement in legislation. In the same way that we educate our students, residents, and fellows, it is critical to take that next step to educate our senators and representatives so that patient care and innovation do not suffer.

Lauren Stern, MD, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine, and ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee intern

 

As an intern on ASN’s Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAAC) for the year 2017, I participated in Kidney Health Advocacy Day (KHAD) on March 29, 2017. My 1-day experience on Capitol Hill during KHAD was, so to say, equivalent to spending 2 years at a graduate public policy training program—from learning best practices of policy stakeholder engagement during the advocacy training session prior to heading to Capitol Hill, to working alongside seasoned policy experts from the ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee and the American Association of Kidney Patients to present our policy requests to congressional staffers, to sharing our experiences with the kidney community on social media. While these experiences will, no doubt, further my long-term desire to voice the importance of kidney disease to policy makers, sharing our KHAD experiences on social media was probably the most gratifying, at least from the immediate vantage point. Using hashtags pertaining to our key legislative items such as #KidneyAdvocates (general), #YouOnlyNeed1 (Living Donor Protection Act), and #FundKidneyCures (Kidney Research Funding) to tweet about KHAD events and to share our photos, we were able to mobilize the nephrology community to join the urgent fight. I look forward to participating in upcoming ASN advocacy events!

Joseph Lunyera, MBChB, MSc, postdoctoral associate, Duke University School of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine, and ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee intern

May 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 5)

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I had the great opportunity to attend my first ASN public policy committee meeting this month in Washington, DC. The meeting started with a briefing about the current state of health care in the US, as well as a discussion about many hot topics affecting people with kidney disease and the physicians who treat them. The topics discussed felt vital and relevant to what I read about in the news and what I experience in my daily practice. I then had the great opportunity to participate in my first Hill Day. It was exciting to be a part of Team Clambakes and Crabcakes, an homage to our home states of Massachusetts and Maryland. As part of the team, I had the opportunity to learn the art of advocacy from the extremely skilled and eloquent Deidra Crews, MD, Dan Weiner, MD, Mallika Mendu, MD, and David White, our dialysis and transplant veteran. I found my time in Washington to be extremely interesting and exciting. It has definitely inspired me to further pursue my interests in public policy.

This experience highlighted to me the importance of physician involvement in legislation. In the same way that we educate our students, residents, and fellows, it is critical to take that next step to educate our senators and representatives so that patient care and innovation do not suffer.

Lauren Stern, MD, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine, and ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee intern

 

As an intern on ASN’s Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAAC) for the year 2017, I participated in Kidney Health Advocacy Day (KHAD) on March 29, 2017. My 1-day experience on Capitol Hill during KHAD was, so to say, equivalent to spending 2 years at a graduate public policy training program—from learning best practices of policy stakeholder engagement during the advocacy training session prior to heading to Capitol Hill, to working alongside seasoned policy experts from the ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee and the American Association of Kidney Patients to present our policy requests to congressional staffers, to sharing our experiences with the kidney community on social media. While these experiences will, no doubt, further my long-term desire to voice the importance of kidney disease to policy makers, sharing our KHAD experiences on social media was probably the most gratifying, at least from the immediate vantage point. Using hashtags pertaining to our key legislative items such as #KidneyAdvocates (general), #YouOnlyNeed1 (Living Donor Protection Act), and #FundKidneyCures (Kidney Research Funding) to tweet about KHAD events and to share our photos, we were able to mobilize the nephrology community to join the urgent fight. I look forward to participating in upcoming ASN advocacy events!

Joseph Lunyera, MBChB, MSc, postdoctoral associate, Duke University School of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine, and ASN Policy and Advocacy Committee intern

May 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 5)

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