#AARCLobby | Be An Advocate, Every Day

 Published: January 29, 2020

By: Heather Willden


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The AARC advocates each day to support the profession, and we encourage RTs all over the U.S. to join in the effort. We checked in with Terri Lesser, RRT, for her take on the importance and value of advocacy.

Have an Advocacy Agenda

photo of terri lesser
Terri Lesser, RRT, graduated from Washburn University in May 1989 and has been with Stormont Vail Health Care since November 1987. She is also the KSRC Advocate Chair.

According to Lesser, an advocacy agenda provides for the ability to communicate legislative activities and legislation being introduced to AARC members quickly.

“[It’s] having a plan in place that provides up to date access to the information on these legislative activities and how it affects the profession,” Lesser said. “The AARC is able to explain the legislation and how it affects our profession and patients.”

Be involved

Some of the ways Lesser gets involved in advocacy efforts include:

  • Making appointments with Kansas legislators in Washington D.C. during the AARC Hill Day for the last two years.
  • Using the AARC communication tools to send emails to her elected officials.
  • Discussing legislative activities with her colleagues.

Make advocacy a year-round effort

Lesser suggests respiratory therapists be involved in their state’s 435 Plan.

Keeping the conversation going, she also recommends talking legislative activity with your own personal network—anyone can use the AARC’s TAKE ACTION tool to send emails, letters or call legislators.

Stay informed by attending town hall meetings held by state legislators.

“Listen to their opinions on health care and the direction it is headed. Introduce yourself whenever possible and start a rapport,” said Lesser.

Stay Informed

Visit the AARC Advocacy site often to stay informed on the latest legislation and lobby efforts.

Email newsroom@aarc.org with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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