Who can be a hospice advocate?
Anyone who cares! Advocates play a key role in educating our communities and our leaders about our belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our loved ones should receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.
While the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association is ably represented in Sacramento by a professional lobbyist and staff, the voices heard from around the state make the difference in the success or failure of legislation.
Providers talk a great deal about compassionate end-of-life care; however, in today's polarized legislative environment, talking to each other is not enough. Providers must share our values and benefits by saying to members of Congress, members of the State legislatures, and members of our local city government, "Let me tell you about our program, and what we provide our community. Let me share with you how you can help provide for and protect our patients and their families. Let me share with you my experience."
There are many ways to become a hospice advocate:
- If you are not already a member, join CHAPCA! There is strength in numbers and your voice, when joined with ours, makes us all a more powerful force in your state capitol.
- Regularly check CHAPCA's Legislative webpage to stay up to date on legislative issues of concern to the hospice and palliative care community.
- Get to know your elected officials. Invite them to your agency, take him/her out on a home visit and add them to your mailing list. Regular communication with key officials and their staff is important year-round. Legislators who know and understand the value of hospice in their community are powerful friends in the state capitol and in Congress.
- Participate in organized legislative events such as NHPCO's Capitol Hill Day and Virtual Hill Day. Visiting your legislator in person is a powerful tool for communicating your concerns. Communicating with your legislator by phone is equally important.