Active Advocacy

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Script Your Future
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Active Advocacy
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Active Advocacy 

The 12 Steps to Active Advocacy

Most pharmacy educators are able to find more than enough activities to fill their work life. It is difficult to imagine how one can find the time and energy to make room for advocacy and outreach. Perhaps the best response is not that we need to add more activities. Perhaps each individual just needs an appreciation of current activities that translate to advocacy and outreach.

The most difficult part of any journey is the first step. This document identifies 12 possible “first steps” on the road from passive to more active advocacy.

  • Follow one policy issue related to pharmacy or pharmacy education that attracts your interest - just one. Make an effort to read each news article and editorial you encounter on the subject; attend a presentation on the topic or watch a special feature on television. (The secret is, virtually all of the issues you could choose are inter-related. You will learn about the entire scope of policy issues just by following one!)
  • Read one pharmacy journal every month cover to cover - your choice! Skim the table of contents in other publications and then read only those items of special interest.
  • Suggest or support a policy and advocacy report as a standing item on the agenda of every faculty meeting at your college or school.
  • Support efforts to get student pharmacists involved in advocacy and outreach: support comes in many forms: moral, intellectual, financial, collegial.
  • When you encounter a person who needs an advocate, take one action on his or her behalf. This person could be a patient, a student, a faculty colleague, a relative, a friend or an acquaintance.
  • Vote in an election. That is, fill out and submit a ballot for something including, but not limited to, the Faculty Senate election, the election of officers for a professional organization, changing the bylaws of your neighborhood association and electing the next President of the United States.
  • Participate in faculty committees to which you are appointed, attend meetings regularly and voice your thoughts and opinions.
  • Form one strategic alliance with an individual or a group as a way to advance your personal self-interest. For example, collaborate on a grant, team teach a course, or negotiate a win:win resolution with your spouse, children or significant other.
  • On your annual report, or statement of goals for professional development, include one activity that will enhance your leadership skills.
  • Write one letter to the editor of a journal, editor of a newspaper, city official, member of congress or university administrator. This need not be complaint; letters of congratulations and expressions of appreciation count.
  • Run for an office (within the school, campus, community, state legislature, President of the United States).
  • Become a regular viewer of your favorite 24-hour news network.

Keep a checklist of the 12 steps in a convenient place and assess yourself annually.

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