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Building Our Advocacy Network

Tuesday, July 11, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matthew Nicholas
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Building Our Advocacy Network

Last year, over 100 members signed on as “Key Contacts” for legislators within their home district. Some of these individuals already had a personal relationship with their legislator OR were willing to establish a relationship.

Periodically, the IPTA would send out “In the KNOW” email blast to our key contacts with information about a critical state or federal issue with an ask that they send an email to their legislator about the IPTA's position or file an electronic witness slip in support or opposition to a bill being considered in a State Senate or House Committee.

The system works. Members responded to our calls to actions by contacting their legislators and filing witness slips on bills. Our Key Contacts helped us to strengthen the PT voice and influence in Springfield:  we were successful in ending the debate on dry needling, prevented the athletic trainers bill from going forward without modifications, and contributed to passage of an updated acupuncture act that included language that addressed overlap in scope of practice among health care providers.

This fall we need to keep this momentum going. We need to find time to connect with all General Assembly members in their home districts and start building important relationships that will help us tackle bigger direct access issues in the near future.

You can help!

As a busy professional, you may not have much time to devote to policy work. Fortunately, being a Key Contact needn’t be a burden. Essentially, we’re asking you to send an occasional message to your elected officials when prompted to by a grassroots alert from the IPTA. Your primary role is to ensure that state legislators in your district are aware of our perspective on key issues.

The most effective key contacts are those who lawmakers come to know and trust. If you are willing to do more than just send an email, you can work to establish a personal relationship with your legislators so that you become a credible and valuable resource on issues related to physical therapy. Meeting with legislators in their home districts or hosting them for a visit to your clinic or department are excellent ways to foster such a relationship and to educate these key policymakers. 

If you are interested in becoming an IPTA Key Contact for your legislative district, please email ipta@ipta.org.



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