The HFA team is excited to welcome a new group of students to our summer 2021 internship program! They will be participating in our annual Advocacy internship virtually, developing their passion in health care policy and self-advocacy. They will be participating in regular webinars and online training about legislative, policy and advocacy issues, learning more about hearings and what it means to work on Capitol Hill, building communications and media skills, and more.

Check out this week鈥檚 Intern Introspective:

Copay Accumulator Adjuster: by Silas

This week one of our main assignments was to write to an elected official. We had flexibility with our letter鈥檚 topic and recipient; I ended up choosing to write to my governor about accumulator adjusters. To refresh yourself about Copay Accumulators, check out this excellent info: Accumulator Adjuster Programs

Truth be told, me and my governor disagree on a lot of issues. But with this, I was hoping I could find a nonpartisan issue. I described the active and adventurous life I lead, and the risk that copay accumulator adjusters pose to my health and/or financial security. Making sure to write with amiable, concise language, I tried to highlight it as a people versus profit issue, which I think most people can get behind. Constituents at risk!

I鈥檓 a political science undergrad about to graduate into the world, and I dabbled into political communications and policy advocacy, and also political clubs/student government. This drew upon all of that. Trying to appeal and connect with people you disagree with has helped me develop perspective and patience, and this assignment helped me calm down from political frustration earlier in the day (I鈥檓 truly a poli sci major). I鈥檓 of the opinion that it鈥檚 never a bad idea to write to your public officials. I鈥檓 grateful that this internship has assignments like this one.

Reflections on the End: by Justin

As my internship with HFA comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on the culminating project for my experience: my capstone project. I have been active in my local bleeding disorder community for many years and noticed a lack of participation and involvement in one key demographic: young adults. With the turbulence of adolescence and the refined development of one鈥檚 personal identity, it is easy to see why young adults may not feel a desire to be connected with the bleeding disorders community at this specific age. However, it is important for all adolescents and young adults to maintain a connection to their bleeding disorder throughout all periods of their life in order to ensure that they are able to properly maintain their health.

While perusing the HFA website, I noticed that there was an award specifically for young adults entitled the Leaders of The Future Award, however it had only been awarded twice, with its last recipient being honored in 2018. It quickly became my mission to breathe new life into this award, recognizing just how crucial it is to acknowledge young adults with bleeding disorders who are doing important work for the community. I was fortunate enough to meet with Renee Waller, Manager of Special Programs at HFA to discuss methods for increased outreach for the awards in order to receive more nominations for the award. After brainstorming together, we came to the conclusion that filming an Instagram video to promote the nomination cycle for the awards could prove useful in boosting community awareness about the nominations. I produced a 60 second video highlighting not only the Leaders of the Future Award, but a variety of other awards that were open for nomination. I was able to impart my own personal experience with young adult involvement within the bleeding disorders community and emphasize how young advocates especially deserve to be recognized.

I was pleased to discover that nominations were submitted for certain awards after my video was released and I am hopeful that more inspiring community members will be recognized as a result of my work on my capstone project. Although nominations for this award cycle are currently closed, I hope to continue outreach for awards on future symposiums to work towards bringing the unsung heroes of the bleeding disorders community into the limelight.

Thank you for Takeda for a charitable donation for making the Policy and Government Relations internship possible.


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