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Transformative Qualities of Advocacy: How to Take Action to Change Public Policy and Transform Your Organization

Rittenberg, Sheila

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: September-October 2009 - Volume 1 - Issue 5 - p 297-300
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0b013e3181bb3074
Feature Articles

This article establishes the building blocks for organizations in developing an advocacy program and addresses how dermatology nurses and nurse practitioners can apply these principles in advancing causes that are important to dermatology and patient care. The key principles of advocacy are defined. Implementing these principles brings organizations and their stakeholders closer to the three A's-action, authority, and accountability. Keeping the organization engaged in relevant issues and the advocates engaged in follow-up achieves a spirit of action-taking and purpose for everyone concerned. Leveraging year-round advocacy work helps unify the grassroots and establish the organization's credibility and authority as the voice of the community. Communicating these achievements within the organization to key volunteers and to the public demonstrates that your organization is accountable for the public policy changes essential to your constituents.

Sheila Rittenberg, BA Sociology, Senior Director of Advocacy and External Affairs, National Psoriasis Foundation, Portland, Oregon.

The author directs advocacy for the National Psoriasis Foundation,, which spearheaded the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure and Care Act ( now pending in Congress. The Psoriasis Foundation also conducts Capitol Hill Day ( and Hill Day at Home ( among other grassroots-based initiatives. Inquiries about National Psoriasis Foundation advocacy work should be directed to

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sheila Rittenberg, Senior Director of Advocacy and External Affairs, National Psoriasis Foundation, 6600 SW 92nd Ave, Suite 300, Portland, Oregon 97223-7195. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.