Empowering Health Care Consumers Conference Scholarship
April 3, 2017
Outside New York State
A key goal of NYSHealth’s Empowering Health Care Consumers priority area is to ensure that people have the tools, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions about their health care.
As the only statewide health foundation in New York, NYSHealth can play a leadership role in building the field of leaders and changemakers working across the State to empower health care consumers. For organizations already engaged in this work, attending conferences and other convenings provides an opportunity to share their successes and lessons learned. Conference attendance can also encourage new actors to enter the field and incorporate consumer empowerment into their work. Yet, because of a lack of resources, many are often unable to attend. Through its Sponsoring Conference Participation Related to Empowering Health Care Consumers Request for Proposals, NYSHealth sponsored nonprofit or low-resourced organizations to attend or present at local, State, and national conferences related to empowering health care consumers. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Independence Care System (ICS) a grant to participate in this initiative.
With NYSHealth funding, ICS sent two consumer advocates with disabilities to attend the National CRT Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Specifically, the conference focused on industry trend, regulatory, and legislative updates on complex rehabilitation technology. ICS’ conference attendees were able to learn about how to advocate for the equipment that people with disabilities need, as well as speak directly with policymakers and decision makers about this population’s needs and concerns. In particular, the attendees spoke about the limited access to complex rehabilitation supplies and equipment, which has become a significant issue among people with disabilities because of the recent changes in federal policies.