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Stroke Advocacy Network FAQs

What is the Stroke Advocacy Network?

The Stroke Advocacy Network is a National Stroke Association program designed to influence elected officials. It does this by teaching stroke survivors, caregivers and other stroke partners to be advocates for policies that support their needs.

Why should I join the Stroke Advocacy Network?

By joining the Stroke Advocacy Network, you are expressing:

  • An interest in knowing about policies that affect the stroke community, and 
  • A willingness to take action to advocate for policies that will positively impact this community.                 

The Stroke Advocacy Network provides members with information about stroke-related policies and tools that enable you to easily communicate with your elected officials. These tools include e-newsletters, educational webinars, legislator profiles and other items to help make advocating easy. In the simplest terms, becoming a member of the Stroke Advocacy Network will help you become an informed and effective stroke advocate.

How can I join the Stroke Advocacy Network?

Joining the Stroke Advocacy Network is free and easy – simply click here and enter your name and contact information.

Can my friends and family join the Stroke Advocacy Network, and how can I encourage them to do so?

Anyone who cares about stroke, stroke survivors, caregivers and their families are encouraged to join the Stroke Advocacy Network. There really is strength in numbers and strength in voices! It’s easy to invite others to participate. Ask your friends to join you and become an advocate for policies that can help the stroke community.

What communications will I receive if I join the Stroke Advocacy Network?

Members of the Stroke Advocacy Network receive periodic e-newsletters and alerts about stroke-related legislation and how they can take action. Members also can use the Stroke Advocacy Network’s communication tool to easily send email messages to their elected officials about stroke-related legislation. Additionally, members have access to live webinars (i.e., computer-based educational programs) about how to be an effective advocate for the stroke community. 

What is an Action Alert?

An Action Alert is a tool used by members of the Stroke Advocacy Network to communicate with their elected officials about stroke-related legislation. The Stroke Advocacy Network posts information about proposed changes to stroke-related policies on its website. Along with this information, a template of a letter members can send to their elected officials about that issue is also posted. Stroke Advocacy Network members receive an email alerting them that an issue has been identified and asking them to take action on it—by going to the website and sending the posted letter to their elected officials.

How does advocacy differ from lobbying?

Both advocacy and lobbying have the same goal—to affect public policies by influencing elected officials who determine those policies. While lobbing is typically done by government relations professionals, advocacy is done by citizens passionate about a particular issue. The Stroke Advocacy Network is an advocacy effort, and the passionate citizens are anyone interested in supporting the needs of stroke survivors, caregivers and their families as well as in preventing stroke.

Does my voice really matter?

Yes! As a constituent (i.e., a resident of an elected official’s district), you have tremendous power to make a difference. Studies show that when a member of Congress hasn’t made a decision on an issue, their constituents have the most power to influence them. That same study states that in-person meetings from constituents are much more influential than visits from professional lobbyists.

How does the work of the Stroke Advocacy Network differ from patient advocacy?

The main difference between patient advocacy and the activities of the Stroke Advocacy Network is the audience and purpose of the effort. Patient advocacy is generally directed at the healthcare system and involves meeting the healthcare needs of one person. The Stroke Advocacy Network directs its efforts toward elected officials and involves resolving challenges faced by the stroke community.

Have a question not answered on this page?

Contact the Stroke Advocacy Network at advocacy@stroke.org or at 1-800-STROKES (787-6537).

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Supported by Allergan, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genentech, Inc.,
H. Lundbeck A/S, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.

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