In 2021, we have a rallying cry: Empower the community of chronic warriors to create lasting change.
The Chronic Disease Coalition has always been an advocate against the discrimination of chronic disease patients. We’ve fought bad insurance company policies, lobbied legislators for new policy, and kept you informed on the issues.
But this year, more than ever before, our focus is on YOU—giving YOU the tools to build YOUR influence, to advocate for YOUR community, and to make change to the issues YOU care about most.
You’ll see this sharp focus in everything we do, but most of all you’ll see it in our four priorities this year.
PRIORITY ONE: BUILD THE BRAND
Did you know there are more than 10,000 members of the Chronic Disease Coalition? Many of you have your own blogs, social media channels and are leading awareness efforts in your communities, while some of you are just beginning your advocacy journey.
This year, we are determined to help every one of you build YOUR brand within the chronic disease community, no matter your experience in advocacy. The clearer and louder your voice, the more influence we can have over chronic rights issues.
How we build your brand in 2021:
- Recruit more members. Together we can elevate the #chronicrights conversation — making all of our voices stronger in the process.
- Redesign our website. The new site will feature patient pages that can serve as a mini business card for you in your advocacy efforts. Picture calling up a legislator to ask them to vote for a bill and being able to say, “Just go to my story page on the CDC website to better understand who I am and why this matters.”
- Provide influencer trainings. We’ll hold trainings and provide support all year on how to build recognition and influence in both the digital world and “in real life.” From your message to how you deliver it, we’re here to help you learn to take up more space and make an impact.
PRIORITY TWO: CHRONIC UNIVERSITY
Chronic University is a new curriculum of training at CDC designed to provide “courses” to our members and our ambassadors. Watch for sessions and content on topics such as “How to Build your Brand” along with trainings on specific issues such as copay accumulators and step therapy.
By the end of the year, we’re aiming for a level up across our entire patient membership in skills, experience and knowledge of chronic rights issues.
PRIORITY THREE: POLICY LED BY PATIENTS
In 2021, we’re re-focusing our government affairs and public policy work around patient-led conversations. You’ve probably seen our CDC Action Alerts. (Go send a copay accumulator letter right now!) But this is about taking legislative engagement one step further.
In our ambassador calls, in our member recruitment conversations, and in our newsletters and e-blasts, we’re going to be asking you to get more involved in telling elected officials what YOU think needs to be done to make health care better.
PRIORITY FOUR: ILLUMINATING AND FIGHTING DISPARITIES
I’ve labeled it our fourth priority, but it’s really the thread that runs through every single element of our work at the CDC. Chronic disease patients are discriminated against as a class at work, in schools, in public and within the health care system. Chronic disease also disproportionately affects low-income and minority populations.
Our work will never be done at the CDC until these disparities are ended.
Throughout the year, you will see us fearlessly calling out racial injustice in health care and discrimination against chronic disease patients. You’re going to see us working hard to empower you, the community of chronic warriors, to raise your voices in concert with us. Together we can make lasting change in American health care.