2015 Advocacy and Government Affairs Interns


Earlier this year, we opened applications for a ten week advocacy & government relations internship* for this summer. We are excited to introduce you to the two candidates that we selected! Adam and Matthew are part of the bleeding disorders community and have been chosen because of their leadership qualities and interest in the field of advocacy and government relations.
During the summer, Adam and Matthew will engage in a variety of hands-on activities including:

  • Legislative, policy, and advocacy training
  • Attending hearings and Hill office visits
  • Visiting with executive branch agencies (ex.: FDA meetings, NIH)
  • Team and network building
  • Collaborative activities with HFA partners and coalitions, like NORD, APLUS, CAT, PPTA etc.
  • Authoring a specific policy work paper or issue brief
  • Building communication and media skills
  • Supporting HFA staff on activities including Dear Addy, action alerts, and social media outreach
  • And more!

Throughout the summer, Adam and Matthew will be telling you what they’re doing and learning. Get to know these two future leaders of the bleeding disorders community!

Where are you in school? What did you major in/are you majoring in?

Adam: I will be entering my senior year of college in the fall, and am majoring in political science with a German Studies minor.

Matthew: I graduated in May from the University of Notre Dame. My degree was a B.S. in Science-Business with a minor in Poverty Studies.

Why did you apply for the HFA policy internship?

Adam: I applied for the internship because I feel that it is my responsibility to give back to those who have so greatly helped me in my own life. I also am very passionate about public policy and feel it is my civic duty to take an active approach to the legislative process and government affairs as a whole, in order to better my own situation in life as well as those of my peers and community members.

Matthew: I was extremely interested in learning more about health policy in general, and about patient advocacy efforts in the bleeding disorders community. I have a large background in science/health with a little bit of policy experience. I saw this internship as an opportunity to build my knowledge in these areas while taking advantage of a unique internship experience.

What does it mean to be an advocate in the bleeding disorders community?

Adam: To be an advocate in the bleeding disorders community means that one is actively pursuing better policies for treatment as well as better access to resources for patients and families, and that one is supportive of the needs of every community member in order to bring about more fully applicable and comprehensive change.

Matthew: Being an advocate means fighting for a variety of interests and rights that benefit the bleeding disorders community. It means understanding and supporting other community members in any way possible.

What are you excited most about being at HFA?

Adam: I am most excited to be actively involved in policy which has the potential to directly affect not only the bleeding disorders community but also the country as a whole. I have been given a great opportunity to see the policy-making and advocacy process firsthand, and am very much looking forward to writing about different issues affecting the community.

Matthew: I am excited about being with a group of extremely motivated people that work for the benefit of others. I am looking forward to learning much more about the bleeding disorders community and seeing how HFA and its member organizations connect people from all over the nation.

What is one thing you hope to get out of this internship?

Adam: I hope to gain a broader knowledge of the various interactions not only with Congress but the affiliated agencies and interest groups that HFA works with. More specifically, I would like to learn more about collaboration with those interest groups and the process of gaining Congressional support for legislation and other related issues.

Matthew: I hope to get a unique perspective on health care legislation. It is one thing to read about government policy-making or hear the opinions of people affected by the policies. It’s something completely different to be in the middle of the two and hearing both sides at once. This internship will surely expose me to a new perspective, showing more about this position of being in the middle.

Dumbledore or Gandalf?

Adam: Gandalf wins with no competition. He is an ancient spirit trapped in the body of a man who defeated a gigantic, fiery demigod. Dumbledore had a fancy light switch. 

Batman or Iron Man?

Matthew: While I respect Batman’s reliability and love for his city, the advantage is clearly Iron Man’s, were they to come face-to-face. 

*HFA thanks Baxter for their unrestricted advocacy grant to make these internships possible.