On Tuesday, nurses, executive directors, volunteers, and program managers from all over the United States gathered at the Hilton in Newark, NJ for the Victory for Women 201 in-Person Follow-Up & Training. The 201 session was an opportunity for chapters, HTCs and volunteers in the community, who participated in NHF’s Women’s Webinar Series, to discuss and share ideas on how to create innovative women and girls programming as well as how to ensure the voices of women are heard in the bleeding disorders community.
To start the day off on a positive note, each woman was given a quote by an influential woman in history and asked to find someone in the room to share their quote and personal interpretation, then switch quotes. At the end of it, everyone had a new empowering quote and positive outlook. I happened to leave with two quotes:
“I’ve come to believe that each of us have a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint-and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”- Oprah Winfrey
“Doing the best at the moment suits you in the best place for the next moment.”- Oprah Winfrey
Brendan Hayes, NHF Government Relations Specialist facilitated an exciting and eye opening session entitled, ‘What is your Ask: Transforming Issues into a Platform for Advocacy.’ The session started with a task for the group, to write down an issue each participant has experienced, outcome of the issue and successfulness. We broke down, with Brendan's help, how having clear objectives going into a situation can affect the outcome. This opening task led nicely into the larger group exercise in which we developed lists of our strengths, areas to overcome, opportunities and obstacles as women in the community. From these lists we were able to develop potential first step asks on behalf of women in the community; such as providing education to providers on women's bleeding issues, having one voice, having consistent prioritized messaging, educating payers, and developing MASAC guidelines. These exercises pointed out how important it is that when we are advocating for ourselves we have to take into consideration not only wanting to voice our opinion but also being able to develop a clear concise objective we hope to result from the situation.
Later in the day, participants were given an opportunity to share their programming and outreach methods of their chapters and organizations. It was an enlightening experience for participants to be able to share ideas, develop solutions to similar issues and offer opportunities for future collaboration between organizations.
We ended the day with a commitment circle where each of us described what our next steps would be in continuing to expand and educate the community. By the end of the session, it was clear that both of the quotes by Oprah Winfrey resonated with everyone in the room. In this community each of us has a role to play that is unique and it's up to us to not only to determine our role but also to put our best foot forward in seeking positive change for all of us.