Awareness alliance: the benefits of advocacy collaborations

Feb 5, 2020
Awareness alliance: the benefits of advocacy collaborations

Working collaboratively provides patient advocacy groups with a louder voice, enabling them to better represent the interests of the people they serve.

That’s the idea behind the Bladder Health Alliance (BHA), which comprises more than 30 patient, physician, and research advocacy groups who collectively work to further their aims.

The BHA, originated in 2013 under the leadership of the Urology Care Foundation, which is the official foundation of the American Urological Association (AUA). Over the years, the Alliance has expanded in scope and size and now collectively works to raise awareness and remove stigmas associated with all conditions impacting bladder health, notes Jessica Bateman, Senior Manager of Patient & Research Advocacy for the AUA.

The BHA, is energized about promoting the hashtag #BladdersMatter during November’s Bladder Health Month. They will also share joint content and highlight weekly themes throughout the month.

Maximize exposure for bladder health

This awareness campaign allows for maximum exposure on social media platforms and throughout the urology community, Jessica says.

The BHA recently convened for its 6th annual roundtable discussion, ahead of Bladder Health Month, to discuss the challenges faced by individuals living with conditions that impact bladder health. “When the group meets in person each year, the topics discussed are centered around current trends in the field of bladder health,” she adds.

“We discuss an array of topics including grassroots advocacy campaigns to improve a patient’s quality of life, mechanisms to address stigma, patient-centered research, and protecting research funding for bladder health conditions,” Jessica points out.

Advice for patient advocacy groups

When asked her advice about engaging additional patient advocacy groups to become involved in the Alliance, she encourages them to “reach out and connect” with any of the Bladder Health Alliance partners or visit resources on the BHM website.

“There is power in numbers. Working collaboratively to promote shared goals strengthens the overall message advocates are working to convey.” There are many opportunities to partner with like-minded organizations who are working to serve the same communities and share consistent messages.”

Awareness alliance: the benefits of advocacy collaborations

Jessica Bateman is the patient and research advocacy manager for the American Urological Association (AUA). In this role, she has responsibility for ensuring the patient voice is incorporated into legislative initiatives and policy agenda.  Jessica provides outreach and resources to patient, physician, and veteran organizations that complement the AUA’s advocacy efforts. Additionally, she leads and participates in patient-focused coalitions that increase awareness about health disparities and enhance patient access to care. She joined the AUA after more than 10 years serving in the non-profit sector as President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America –DC/MD/VA Chapter and directing the public policy team at the Immune Deficiency Foundation.  She was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Maryland Arthritis Council from 2011-2015 and has authored several print publications. Jessica has a Master’s degree in Community Health education from Towson University and is a certified patient navigator.

Leave a Reply