Advocacy is the cornerstone of the National Association of Veterans Affairs Physicians and Dentists’ fight to preserve and strengthen the VA health care system. Being an advocate means using your voice to educate and persuade, correct misperceptions and change minds, and make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. Advocacy is important because what you do is important. Your patients are important. Our VA healthcare system is important.
Here in Washington, D.C., NAVAPD leadership advocates on behalf of our membership by meeting with and educating Members of Congress and their staff, as well as key players at the VA, on the issues most important to our community. We work on our own and in coalition with other like-minded groups on a wide variety of issues including physician performance pay, continuing medical education, working conditions at VA medical facilities, staffing and productivity, federal budget support for the VA, and others.
We’ve had a great number of victories for our community over the years, and we’re very proud of our work. But, times have changed, and the old ways of doing business in Washington have changed along with it. We’re taking a fresh look at how we advocate on your behalf and how we determine where the pressure is best applied.
To that end, we’ll be calling on you, from time to time, to let your voice be heard on certain issues. More and more, Members of Congress, their staff, employees and decision makers at the Veterans Administration say they need to hear not just from us, but from you. Our message to policy makers will remain the same … they just need to hear it from more constituents at all levels to be able to consider change. They need to hear your first-hand stories of how their decisions have impacted and could impact our community.
There are many ways to advocate – some take just a few minutes, while others take a little more time. Depending upon how much time you’re able to commit, NAVAPD can help you let your voice be heard – whether you are a physician or dentist in the VA system, a patient, a friend or family member, or colleague or co-worker. We know everyone is stretched for time and pulled in many different directions during the day.
From time to time, we’ll reach out with tools and talking points, and tips for reaching out to those in power here in Washington.