Lauren Williams, MD, Family Medicine, Voyage Healthcare
August 2019 Advocacy Champion
1. Why is being an advocate so important to you?
As a family medicine physician, I am invested in seeing my patients reach a place of true health and wellbeing and to live the fullest, best lives possible. Research has shown us that the factors with the greatest impact health outcomes are things that happen beyond our clinic walls, and the best way to address these is on a broader, community level. Advocacy gives me a platform from which to share the voices and stories of my patients the help make this type of change.
2. What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year?
My biggest healthcare priorities are health equity and access to care, and the promotion of preventative and primary care. In the legislature, I have testified regarding bills supporting licensing and regulation of PBMs, and I participated in a town-hall with Rep Angie Craig regarding healthcare costs. Within organized medicine, I have worked on policies to eliminate the use of race as a proxy for genetics in medical decision-making, to address the impact on health outcomes that current climate policies are having, and to increase the primary care investment and primary care workforce in the state.
3. What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy?
We have the incredible privilege of hearing patient's stories, struggles, and triumphs. Take these stories to heart and let your compassion for patients fuel you to work for the changes you want to see. Advocacy can take so many different forms - it doesn't always have to be very public or visible, but know that what you are doing for your patients and your profession matters greatly.