Credit Rule: 3
When we advocate for and with patients at the Center for Patient Partnerships, each situation we encounter is unique because each is occurring for that one client or family for the first time. When we pull back the lens to look at patients as a group, however, patterns of issues emerge, as do recurring approaches to addressing them. This seminar is designed to build on your patient advocacy clinical experience by deepening your exploration of the systemic causes of problems consumers experience with health and health care in the U.S.; by introducing you to a range of strategies for creating productive change with and on behalf of groups of patients; and by strengthening your ability to see the connections between the experiences of individual patients and the organizational, political, social, and economic structures that influence the experiences of all patients. During this course we will introduce theories of change, themes, roles, and strategies relevant to system level advocacy; highlight opportunities for and limitations faced by patients in the policy domain; explore the role of advocacy groups; and critically examine advocacy in the legislative, regulatory, community, and organizational arenas. We will also work together to develop habits of inquiry that will inform your final projects and ongoing advocacy practice.
1. Explore the discipline of health advocacy from the micro (individual) level to macro (systems) level, including the elements of system-level advocacy and approaches system-level advocates can take.
2. Appreciate the multiple pathways by which patients, or individuals with a deep personal stake in community health, become policy actors.
3. Explore the unique role advocacy groups play in our democracy, and their diverse origins, sizes, shapes, missions, strategies, funders, and life courses.
4. Deepen existing knowledge about legislative and regulatory advocacy, including implementation of policies at the national, state, local and organizational levels.
5. Explore effective strategies of systems-level advocacy, including: community engagement, storytelling, research, and media.