The Basics of Advocacy and Government
October 5, 2021, 2:00 – 2:40 p.m. ET
In 1955, a group of concerned parents faced with the unimaginable -- losing a child to a little-known illness -- joined together to form the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Born out of the need to raise awareness of the disease, the CF Foundation was established as an advocacy organization. Today, the CF Foundation continues that culture of advocacy by working with the CF community to advance policies that support access to high-quality, specialized care.
While the legislative process may sound complex, being an advocate is not. Your voice has the power to spark emotion, ignite conversation, and help shape public policy.
This session will help you to understand what advocacy looks like at the federal and state levels, how to engage your network to promote change, and discover opportunities to get involved with CF Foundation advocacy initiatives.
Melissa Shiffman, LMSW
Melissa was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of 5. Melissa began advocating with the CF Foundation in 2011 and served as National Advocacy co-chair for three years. She continues to advocate in Washington, D.C. and New York on behalf of the Foundation for policies that will help extend and better the lives of people with CF and their families. She is a member of the Cystic Fibrosis Reproduction and Sexual Health Collaborative (CFRSHC), which produced the Cystic Fibrosis Sexual and Reproductive Guide -- a guide written by patients for providers and patients that shares how CF affects body image, contraception, hormones, family building, etc. Melissa resides in downtown New York City with her husband, two children, and rescue dog.
Ryan currently serves as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Health Policy Officer at the Georgia Department of Community Health. Prior to this role, he served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Governor Brian P. Kemp. Before joining the Governor's Office, Ryan worked in the private sector advising several Georgia-based companies on legislative strategy. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in political science and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health.
Pamela Gosch (Moderator)
Pamela has a bachelor's degree in molecular biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master's in health policy from University of California San Diego. While studying health policy and advocacy, the efforts of the CF Foundation caught her eye and this interest turned into an internship with the Foundation. Since then, Pamela has acted as the Advocacy Board Chair for the San Diego Chapter where she resides and continues to fight for a cure.