Saturday, July 31, 2010

Do You Believe Physicians Should Be Activists? If So, Read On:

I readily acknowledge that this post might not add to the reach of the e-mails I have already sent out, but I figured I'd put it up in case someone stumbles across it from this source.  Over the last year and a half I have become very interested in the National Physicians Alliance, their advocacy, and the positions they stand for.  So, I'm trying to see if there is any interest in Virginia to set up a local affiliate.  More detail below:


Sorry this e-mail is somewhat impersonal, but I wanted to write you in a more official capacity regarding the opportunity below and to as if you feel that (if you are not interested) whether you know others who would be good contacts.

I am writing to gauge interest in an exciting opportunity.  The National Physicians Alliance (NPA; is interested in starting local action networks (LANs) in order to further the NPA's national agenda while also establishing a group to address and act upon issues of local interest and importance.  The NPA's guiding principles include placing patients' best interests above all else, addressing the bio-psycho-social influences on health and focusing on community wellness as well as individual patient health; and emphasizing professional and collaborative approaches to care
(  Recently, the NPA has been an active voice in the health care reform debate, and has advocated for separating physicians from PhRMA and industry influence.

Personally, I feel that many of the progressive and patient-focused positions the NPA has taken accurately represent my opinions and beliefs, and I am very interested in the idea of a LAN in Richmond and/or other areas in the Commonwealth.  These LANs could be affiliated within Virginia, or could exist independently of each other but in affiliation with the national NPA.

The NPA describes the roles of LANs as:

"The NPA's Local Networks are critical partners in the work of the national organization.  Some Local Networks work on issues championed by NPA on the national level, while others focus on more specific local issues that are consonant with the NPA mission.  This unique model allows NPA to partner with groups of physicians who are interested in our vision and could benefit from the
organizational resources of the NPA. Local Networks, in turn, help to enhance the mission of the NPA by focusing on specific issues about which their members feel passionate and by expanding the network of physicians who find their professional home at the NPA."

I am more than happy to provide additional information on the NPA, the options regarding LAN development, and hearing other thoughts you might have.  At this point, I am interested in determining who else might be interested in this idea.  If there appears to be enough interest, then I would anticipate that in the next few months we would communicate via e-mail and (probably) teleconferences or conference calls in order to clarify our goals and establish the necessary groundwork.  Once a LAN is established, then the level of activity would be variable.  Presumably the LANs will need formal leadership structures and members interested in being actively involved in the group's activities (writing letters, posting on-line material, participating in gatherings and
get-togethers, etc) but each person's level of activity would depend on their availability and engagement.

I hope to hear from you soon.  Please let me know if I can address any other questions or concerns.

Thanks for your time.


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