Advocacy Burnout, Finding Strength in Others, and Staying Motivated

I have had a great year of new discoveries in my asthma advocacy journey. I have had the pleasure of attending Medicine X. Medicine X is a and being truly inspired by the great work that many patients are doing. For those of you that are wondering what Medicine X is, it is an academic medical and technology conference. It is an experience like no other.

Health care and innovation

At Medicine X 2016 we will meet the innovators who are disrupting health care throughout the globe. We will see the emerging technologies of today and learn how they will impact the health care we deliver and receive tomorrow.

We will explore the drivers of change through organizational leadership and creative collaboration outside of health care’s traditional silos.

We will be inspired by moonshot thinking and learn how to grow pockets of excellence and innovation to large-scale change. We will experience empathy and compassion. We will gain an understanding of the problems that matter most in health care."1

Asthma advocacy

I have been incredibly inspired to do more and different asthma advocacy. I am currently involved with a couple of organizations and doing some great groundwork. I will still continue on with a couple of projects but I am bit exhausted from a busy year of advocacy and have lost a bit of my spark.

When I feel drained from advocacy, I like to tap into some greats mentors, check out the great work that asthma advocates like Donna Shock from the Denver School Board and her work on the Building Bridges program and patient advocate extraordinaire Nick Dawson. They are advocates that have rolled up their sleeves and got in the trenches to make a difference.

There is a lot of work being done and there is room for everyone. I hope that you will join and find strength from others. Even little things can add up to big change.

Where to start with advocacy

If you are interested in advocacy, there are lots of places to start. If you have not already joined the Asthma.netcommunity, I encourage you to. You will find liked minded individuals and it is a great way to get the ideas flowing and perhaps find an area that you are interested in pursuing.

If you are looking for more local ways to interact, you can start with speaking to local organizations or national ones. Even local programs at your hospital or clinic. If you patient about a specific topic, start with someone in your area. Often the easiest people to reach someone may be another patient who has gone through a similar discovery.

I honestly got into advocacy because I wrote a letter of complaint and they asked if I wanted to be part of the solution. I took them up on the challenge and I have not looked back. I still hope to one day slay some big dragons, for right now, anyway that I can help improve the lives of patients or advocate for SA (Severe Asthma) is a win.

My plan for 2017 is to renew my advocacy spirit and work on a couple of different projects. I will keep you posted on how my adventure goes.

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