Mentors and SIGs – Our Best Resources Yet

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tshirtWhen APHA and AdvoConnection were launched in 2009, the resources that existed for starting and growing a private, independent advocacy practice were few and far between.

There weren’t many advocacy experts, because with only a few exceptions, there just weren’t many people with the track record to call themselves experts. Certainly there were experts in different useful topics; for example lawyers or insurance people who could take what they knew and apply it to advocacy. So we took advantage of those experts’ good graces to build the first foundations for practices going forward. We still rely on them, and appreciate their help, today.

Now fast forward to today.

These 5 years later we have dozens of experts in almost every aspect of starting and growing an advocacy practice, in the advocacy work itself, in patient education, and more… Early adopters who have ‘been there, done that” – and would be happy to show off their T-shirts. Real advocates. Real success stories!  Even among those who haven’t launched their practices yet, we have almost every topic imaginable represented among our APHA members – people who can speak to the expertise they have brought to advocacy, and what they have learned along the way.

Now we’ve made it easier for you to find them – and for them to help you.

First – who is “them”? 🙂  In many cases, “them” is YOU!  Within our ranks we have an incredible breadth of expertise that is needed by others. No matter what background and experience you bring to your new profession, there is probably someone else who can use your advice.

Further, we know you’d probably like to connect with others who either share your interests, or who could use your expertise.  So, for you we have built SIGs:  Special Interest Groups to set the stage to make that happen.

SIGs offer three tools:

  • A Discussion Forum where any topic within that group can be discussed
  • A teleconference capability so you can set up real-time phone calls with others (M-2-M conversations)
  • A special section of the APHA website that allows you to curate resources that can be used by and with others who share your interests.

So far we have set up 5 SIGs, as follows (find links to them all from here.)

  • Canadian Corner (for Canadian advocates)
  • Florida Advocates
  • Lawyers as Health Advocates
  • Medical Billing and Claims Advocates
  • Navigation Tracker Users

(We can create a SIG for any special interest with 5 or more APHA members showing interest.)

If you are a Premium or PACE member of the Alliance, we invite you to participate in any or all of these SIGs. Great networking. Great support. Excellent and useful information.

… which takes us to our other new offering – this one open to everyone with interest…

Mentors!

Many of you have asked about mentors, but frankly, finding true advocacy mentors required time and track record. Yes – there are a handful of folks who have been private advocacy professionals for many years, but for various reasons, they preferred not to take on this sort of teaching.

Now, these years later, some among has have been in business for a long enough time that they can help others, and are ready to do so.  We have listed them on the education website Please note: they will charge for their mentoring services, so be sure they will offer the kinds of support and help you need.

To me, the most exciting part about these announcements is the recognition that, well, we’ve come a long way, baby.  At least we have come far enough to see enough progress in the growth of our profession to connect you with the help you need, and the interests you have.

We hope APHA members find these tools useful! As always, feedback is welcome.

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