JDRF Advocacy Action Alert e-mails really work! Every email, phone call, and text is heard! Keep talking they are listening!
A couple of years ago, I received a phone call from Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office and it was not a campaign call. The real person on the phone was not asking for my vote or my money– it was Senator Baldwin’s Health Aide. She called because she wanted to know more about CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors). Senator Baldwin’s Health Aide called me – at home – for my help understanding an issue that was flooding their inboxes! She knew me from all my trips to Washington D.C. where I advocate on behalf of everyone with type 1 diabetes (T1D), so she reached out for help understating this new technology so she could explain it to her boss, Senator Baldwin.
Senator Baldwin’s Health Aide told me how their offices were getting a “ton of emails and calls” asking for Medicare coverage of CGMs, thanks to all JDRF’s Action Alerts, and they really didn’t understand what the CGMs did. Was it another meter? Was it a closed loop system? What is it we are asking for? I happily explained what the CGMs were and what it meant to my daughter and I to have one. I explained how most insurance companies look to Medicare as the leader on technologies they should cover so it was important to us that Medicare covered this technology. I also explained how valuable they are to our older population. Back then, as people aged into Medicare, they were losing access to this technology at the time they needed it most. We wanted to change that!
As the Advocacy Chair for the JDRF Western Wisconsin Chapter, I have the unique opportunity to meet with our elected officials in their offices in Washington D.C. and back home in Wisconsin. Over the years, I have met with the Senators, Representatives, and their staffers many times and built personal relationships with them. Whenever I’m in D.C., I am always impressed by the professional staffers they have in the front office manning the phones, email accounts, and social media accounts. I have listened to them take and record many calls on a variety of issues. They log and tally every communication. Every. Single. One.
I was so surprised and honored to be called by my Senator’s office. They were getting our messages! They were hearing us! They wanted to understand what we were asking for so they could help us! And a few days later Senator Baldwin officially signed on to the support letter.
So I can tell you – every email, phone call, text is heard! Keep talking they are listening! If you would like to learn more about being a JDRF Advocate, visit the JDRF Advocacy home page.
— Robin Koppenhaver, JDRF Western Wisconsin Chapter Advocacy Chair