The NACHC advocacy team is excited to announce the Outstanding Advocate for June 2017 — Ray Babowicz, Director of Communications and Marketing at Community Health Center of the North Country in New York.
Ray has been working to bolster advocacy programming at Community Health Center of the North Country for only nine months, but in this time, he has revitalized advocacy efforts and awareness at the health center and coordinated keystone advocacy accomplishments. Recent advocacy activities include participation in CHCANYS' annual Advocacy Day and Representative Stefanik’s visit to the health center in May. Ray’s coordination and participation efforts demonstrate his belief that advocacy is a year-round activity, and judging by the health center’s recent advocacy efforts, he stays busy!
What are Ray’s keys to success? Getting started on advocacy endeavors early and thoroughly. Scheduling meetings far in advance ensures there is ample time to work on the health center’s advocacy objectives and it enables a prioritization of advocacy activities. Education is also key: a big component of Ray’s role at Community Health Center of the North Country is educating internal staff on policy priorities and what advocacy is comprised of. Ray believes in encouraging staff to advocate on behalf of community health centers and also in their everyday lives as members of the community. Another tip – build and maintain relationships with your elected officials. Ray has worked hard to do so, and the results have paid off. Just last month, Representative Stefanik visited the health center herself to meet with patients and staff!
Working on advocacy throughout the year makes it easier to plan advocacy events that are creative, fun, and invite community-wide participation. Regular communication with elected officials and among staff members helps build productive working relationships and enables individuals to better advocate on behalf of the health center. Each individual at the health center plays a vital role in its success, and advocacy is something everyone should be involved in. Ray is a firm believer that regular communication about policy and advocacy breaks down barriers. From communicating with government officials to staff members to even creating a commercial for his health center, Ray has gone above and beyond in his efforts to clearly communicate the value that community health care centers have to offer. (Want to listen to Ray’s commercial? Click here!)
Hearing about Ray’s extensive advocacy efforts for Community Health Center of the North Country is inspiring and shows the power of good communication and organization. If your community health center is looking to get more engaged with advocacy, NACHC is here to help. Check out all the resources in the Advocacy Toolkit to get started with advocacy or to strengthen your health center’s current advocacy involvement.
Thank you, Ray, for all that you do and your efforts to support community health centers!
Do you know an Outstanding Advocate who deserves this recognition? Let us know! Email Elizabeth Kwasnik at firstname.lastname@example.org.