I just returned from ADA’s Public Policy Workshop –or PPW—as it’s known to those who attend. These few days with over 450 RDs/DTRs left me at times speechless (which doesn’t happen often!)
Several of the most inspiring moments:
- Kathleen Zelman’s proclamation that advocacy is 90 percent presentation and 10 percent content. Kathleen serves as Director of Nutrition for WebMD. This is difficult for RDs I do believe—or at least for me—it’s hard to resist data and documentation! Perhaps it was just a coincidence that the Super Bowl aired that evening—and there was as much discussion about the commercials as the game! Let’s face it, we all know the message of big corporations trying to sell something—but the characteristic impact of Super Bowl ads sets a high bar for delivery.
- There is tremendous power in having discussions face-to-face, riding in a cab with RD’s you barely know and watching, feeling the reactions to the discussions in the room.
- Collaboration is key—ADA’s DC office has built an impressive group of Public Policy Coordinators for each Affiliate, a framework for advocacy leaders within ADA and a host of materials for use by members and legislators,
- The Power of Volunteerism within our profession and the ability to impact health care. A like vein running throughout most discussions were—the economic conditions affecting our country threaten many great programs yet in the same way—make the services of our profession even more critical to health improvement and medical costs reduction.
- And finally, I left the meeting with an undertone of kindness and consideration; I attended the meeting with my left arm in a cast—my wrist broken a few weeks back. At every turn were PPW participants and hotel staff trying to lighten my load—pouring me a drink at break time, adjusting my jacket so I could better reach it, and yes—an RD who offered to cut my food at lunch! A great profession and many great people whose heart is in the right place.