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AIMBE's Advocacy Role

AIMBE serves a vital mission to recognize excellence and advocate for the fields of medical and biological engineering. AIMBE FLASH regularly keeps Fellows informed on Federal items you Need to Know, Emerging Issues, and Items of Interest. AIMBE ACTion is the resource Fellows use to become an effective advocate. Successful advocacy depends upon establishing strong relationships with elected officials beginning with visiting Congress during AIMBE’s Annual Meeting, invited your lawmaker to visit your lab, attending their local town-hall meetings to raise your issue and regularly sending emails with your concerns and comments. Getting involved can be fun and personally rewarding. AIMBE provides the tools and resources to make it easy.



How to Advocate

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The Importance of NIH

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Researchers Considering Going Overseas

Drive the Discussion

Members of Congress define the issues by questions raised by their home town constituents. One of the easiest ways to Change the Conversation is with a Letter to the Editor – one of the most widely read sections of your local paper, especially by lawmakers. Keep your letter short (150-250 words) and send it to the paper along with your name, title, and contact information. Focus on a single point and do not complain or attack. State your point upfront, give a personal example, and build your case in two paragraphs. Close with a statement of action.

  • Dear Editor, lawmakers are not talking about…..
  • Keep it short, be persuasive, focus on single point, proofread
  • Do not complain or attack – keep it positive
  • Give a personal example – personalize your letter
  • Close with a statement of action
For additional information and suggestions on becoming engaged in a national voter education initiative led by Research America, visit Campaign for Cures.  Research America has led medical and scientific organizations such as AIMBE in a national coalition to advance medical progress and engage votes in support of medical research.

Visiting Capitol Hill

Request a Meeting (Three Weeks Before)

Send email requesting an appointment with the lawmaker to discuss (insert topic).  Identify yourself as a local constituent living in lawmaker’s district and indicate if you will be alone or accompanied by others.   Specify your availability (Tuesday early afternoon) and provide a phone and email contact.  Make sure to inform your organization’s Congressional Affairs office.  An office receives many request so remember to send a follow-up if you done receive a timely response.

Prepare for Visit (One Week Before)

Identify a single ASK (what are you asking of your lawmaker) and prepare a maximum of three points that support your request.  Drafting your talking points will help you focus your thoughts and keep your message short.  Avoid talking politics.

Visit

Arrive on time (or early) and be prepared if meeting starts late.  Don’t be upset if an appointment with your lawmaker is moved to a staffer.  Provide introduction and get right to your purpose and ASK.  Don’t let your short appointment (usually 15 minutes) get sidetracked to current news or local sports.  Provide no more than three supporting point and avoid statistics or complex details. Demonstrate the connection of your message with the interest of the lawmaker’s home district — relate to a local person, project or jobs.  Lawmakers and staff remember images far better than numbers.

Keep it Short

Don’t do all the talking.  Listen and make sure you localize your message.  Ask for the lawmaker’s /staff thoughts or opinions but avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no.   Ask for specific steps the lawmaker is willing to take to achieve your request.  If responses are not specific, ask the lawmaker/staff for a follow-up response.  Remember to get a photo.

Follow-up (One Week After)

Provide a timely thank you note, reiterating your message and key points.  If you requested a follow-up remind they you are seeking their response.  Share your visit with your organization’s Congressional Affairs office. 

How to Host a Lab Tour

Develop the Plan

60 days out

What would you show/demonstrate?  Who would participate?  How is your research making a difference?  What is your ASK?

Send an Invitation

45 days out

Use sample email message

Follow-up with phone call to Appt. Secretary

Prepare for Visit

30 days out

Notify University government affairs office and campus security

Prepare one-pager on you, your research and the importance of Federal investment in basic discovery

Ask for help from the University with press announcement.  Arrange for a photographer.

Visit

Greet them and provide speedy access

Stay on message – repeat often your ask. Don’t get technical or too details. Paint a picture or image.

Stay flexible and prepare for delay or condensed schedule

Take PICTURES

Follow-Up

Within One Week

Send Thank you.

Share the experience with colleagues