MS Advocacy 101 - Identifying and Seizing Opportunities

Missed our live MS advocacy webinar? No problem! Check out the video below to watch it all!

Patient advocacy can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re just getting started. Whether you’re interested in just dipping a toe in the advocacy waters, looking to jump right in, or aiming to strategically expand the breadth and depth of your reach, you’ll likely find value in our MS Advocacy 101 webinar that was held on December 13th, 2023!

Our live webinar highlighted helpful information about MS advocacy from 3 MS Patient Leaders who were willing to share their incredible personal advocacy journeys. They discussed how they got started in the advocacy world and how their paths led them to where they are today. We also shared about a recently launched Patient Leader Certification program - self-led modules for exploring and developing unique expertise as a patient leader. Watch the video replay of the webinar below!

MS advocacy topics we explored

  • Getting involved in advocacy and overcoming barriers to entry
  • The benefits and fulfillment of advocacy work
  • Lessons learned through advocacy and advice for others
  • Social Health Network's Patient Leader Certification program and our panelists’ experiences completing the program

The Patient Leader panelists

Cathy Chester community advocate Cathy ChesterDiagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986, Cathy Chester has been advocating for the MS community since then, before the internet or any approved MS medications. She is a certified health advocate and Patient Leader who has created an award-winning blog, An Empowered Spirit, to empower, inspire, and educate the MS community. Over the years, Cathy has been a regular contributor to several MS and health websites and has served as a consultant for many pharmaceutical and health-related companies. Among other awards she’s received, she’s proudest to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from WEGO Health.

Brooke Pelczynski community advocate Brooke PelczynskiBrooke Pelczynski is an artist, illustrator, and multiple sclerosis fighter. She was diagnosed in 2012, the summer before she graduated with her BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts. Dropping paintbrushes and seeing stars was just the beginning. She has been on 5 medications and finally found one that will hopefully click. Since then, she has come a long way in understanding that MS may have changed her life, but not necessarily for the worse. She has spoken about the challenges MS has taken on her artistic life and continues to speak openly about the struggles it will cause in the future. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her main objectives are to produce as much art as possible, learn to live and grow with her MS, and help others along their own MS journey! “I never had an excuse to stay out of the heat before, and now I do. So that is a silver lining.”

Samantha Salvaggio community advocate Samantha SalvaggioSamantha Salvaggio is a Chronic Illness Guide, Creator, and certified Patient Leader who has been living with multiple sclerosis for over 17 years. She uses her education (BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences and MS in Nutrition) and lived experience to inform and empower others with chronic illness. Sam is the founder of LIFT by Sam. LIFT stands for Living with Illness and F*cking Thriving and everything she does is designed to help others do just that. Whether it be on her TikTok, Instagram, Blog, or in the shop, you can expect a straightforward and authentic take that shows you that you are not alone in the ups and downs of your journey. In her spare time, Sam loves to spend time outside gardening (she lives on 10 acres), or inside reading or hanging out with her husband and 2 cats.

The information provided at this event is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical or healthcare advice or to create a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided.

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