What is a Patient Ambassador?
A Patient Ambassador is a person with kidney disease or family member who volunteers to represent DPC by being a leader in their community and local dialysis facility. One of your primary responsibilities will be to provide dialysis patients with the education, access and confidence to be their own advocates. Click here to join today!
Why should I be a Patient Ambassador?
You want opportunities to make a significant difference in the lives of all dialysis patients by representing DPC and ensuring that your voice and the voices of other predialysis and dialysis patients are heard!
How does the program work?
- Every quarter you will receive a packet of materials. These materials include education call flyers and information as well as a schedule of patient ambassador calls and relevant materials to go with the call. Each month will have a topic and a corresponding task for that topic.
- We provide you with instructions and resources for all the different actions you can take. Actions include everything from writing a letter to inviting your member of Congress to your facility.
- Every quarter we hold teleconference calls with Ambassadors throughout the country. These calls will focus on a variety of topics that will help you as advocates including:
Policy Updates- calls with DPC staff or guests to discuss any policy changes in the renal community.
Leadership Training- covering strategies to become leaders in your facilities and communities.
Coordination between Ambassadors- every call provides and opportunity for you to learn and connect with fellow dialysis patients across the country. Some Ambassadors have been on dialysis for over 30 years and have many tips and experiences to share.
- After the quarter is over, you will report on your actions. Reporting can be done with a paper reporting form in the mail, over the phone, or using our online form.
- For every action you take, you will earn points that we will look at when determining who we fly to Washington, DC for our annual fly-in. We will also recognize our most active Ambassadors every year.
- Once you join the program, we will provide you with an orientation to go over the ins and outs of the program in detail. Even after the orientation, we are always available to help and support you with whatever you want to do as an ambassador.
What are the benefits of serving as a Patient Ambassador?
- Recognition as a leader in your community.
- Potential to visit Washington, D.C. for Washington D.C. Advocacy Days (all expenses covered by DPC)
- Potential visits to your state house to participate in State Advocacy Days (all expenses covered by DPC)
- Monthly educational and strategy conference calls, including insider’s reports on political and legislative developments in our nation’s capital and opportunities to share best practices with fellow Ambassadors
What are the expectations and responsibilities of a Patient Ambassador?
We will provide you with a wide range of opportunities. If you are assisted in making a difference, we are here to help you with whatever you want to do. DPC provides all the training, tools, materials and support you need to:
- Build a Relationship with your Legislators
- Contact your Members’ Washington offices
- Respond to DPC Action Alerts and distribute them to other patients and families
- Invite your members of Congress and/or district staff to visit your dialysis facility
- Educate Fellow Patients and Members of your Community
- Distribute articles and other educational materials to the patients in your clinic and be prepared to answer non-medical questions
- Educate your community on kidney disease
- Recruit new DPC members and mobilize patients to advocate for their care
- Encourage other patients in your facility and community to join DPC
- Recruit new Patient Ambassadors
Patient Ambassadors must be current dialysis patients, predialysis patients or family members, interested in acting on behalf of dialysis and predialysis patients to improve the quality of life for all patients.
A Patient Ambassador must perform (and report to DPC) at least one of the following activities every four months:
- Take Action. Email, call or send a letter to his/her local lawmakers about legislative policy issues impacting dialysis patients (reach out to DPC for information on the latest pressing issues for patients)
- Site Visit. Request a dialysis clinic site visit with his/her Members of Congress, their staff, or other state representatives
- Letter to the Editor. Write and submit a letter to the editor to his/her local newspaper about a kidney disease issue and/or the importance of advocating for better dialysis patient care
- Community Outreach. Lead a community outreach event (DPC will send you a packet of information)
- Advocacy Day. Apply to participate in DPC's Annual Advocacy Day
- DPC Survey. Participate in DPC's Annual Membership Survey
- Blog. Write and submit a blog for DPC sharing his/her story about his/her advocacy work for dialysis patients in your community and/or living with chronic kidney disease
- DPC Call. Participate in DPC's Patient Ambassador calls, attend DPC's educational webinars, and/or post a flier of an upcoming DPC education call at his/her dialysis facility (after asking permission)
- Social Media. Share his/her story about living with chronic kidney disease by reaching out publicly to his/her Members of Congress on social media
- Community Event. Connect and build a relationship with his/her Members of Congress at a community event
- Town Hall. Participate in a town hall meeting