Getting involved in legislative advocacy can be quite overwhelming, after all, there are thousands of bills introduced at the federal level ever year. That number goes up substantially if you include legislation that is introduced at the state level. So it can be nearly impossible for an individual to track all of that information alone. Enter the legislative advocacy group. Legislative Advocacy groups are comprised of staff or volunteers that track federal and state legislation that may affect you as migraine patient. Examples of this can be as general as medication pricing or as specific as keeping the public informed on the federal approval process for new migraine treatments. Joining a legislative advocacy group is a great way to get started with legislative outreach as they often organize meetings with elected officials, petitions, and outreach campaigns. We have chosen a few organizations that are doing great things on the advocacy front. Take a look!
THE 50 STATE NETWORK
The 50 State Network is not a migraine specific group, instead it is comprised of anyone with chronic illness and is designed as a collective to help amplify voices that would otherwise get lost in the intricate systems used in Washington DC and state capitols around the country to pass a bill into a law. While migraine is not the focus, 50 State does do a lot of work on migraine related issues and always tracks issues important to the community.
THE HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE POLICY FORUM
The mission of the Headache and Migraine Policy Forum is to advance public policies and practices that promote accelerated innovation and improved treatments for headache and migraine sufferers. The forum is comprised of different stakeholder groups and they also provide a resources section, events page and advocacy tools.
COALITION FOR HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE PATIENTS
The Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients (CHAMP) is a relative newcomer to the field, and CHAMP brings lots of resources including events, advocacy opportunities and multiple ways to interact with the migraine community.
THE ALLIANCE FOR HEADACHE DISORDERS ADVOCACY
The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) is comprised of multiple well know migraine and headache advocacy, education and support groups and they put on numerous events each year including Headache on the Hill which connects migraine sufferers with their representatives and Capitol Hill staffers, to put a human face on the reality of migraine. The ADHA is also a great resource for finding out which bills before congress may affect you as a migraine patient.
A government affairs professional who is currently learning to focus on her health, Jenn is a former half-marathon runner with an adorable Yorkie, Gracie. She spends her time advocating for change, encouraging other chronic illness sufferers, and crafting! Find her online at medicallyodd.com or with her social media handle @Medical_Oddity!