Advocate Profile: Leslie Parran
"To be honest, I never thought at the beginning of my career that it would make a difference to participate in advocacy," says Leslie Parran, Senior Director of Nursing and Blood and Marrow Transplant program at the University of Minnesota. She's been in the field since 1979.
Leslie's first venture into advocacy came when she went to Washington, D.C. with the Oncology Nursing Society to talk with legislators about nursing issues. A number of years later, she again participated in legislative activity when her organization went to the Minnesota state capitol.
These first experiences demonstrated to her how advocacy can influence decision-makers' actions. "So when the call to action came from NMDP / Be the Match, I felt compelled to participated," says Leslie. On numerous occasions Leslie has submitted comments to legislators and policy makers in support of funding for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and for changes to hospital outpatient and inpatient rules to improve reimbursement for transplant.
"While all of us may feel the day-to-day local pressures of our work, it is important to take time to advocate on behalf of all HCT patients. If we don't, we may be impacted by decisions that are note influenced by us. Others may make decisions with limited information and understanding of the impacts to our patients and organizations. It is also rewarding to dialog with legislators as a concerned constituent and be acknowledged in person or in writing for presenting your perspectives on issues that directly impact your work and your patients."
When asked, Leslie explains that the work that NMDP / Be The Match is doing to expand coverage for a broader range of diagnoses is critical to many patients."
"I would encourage clinicians and administrators to begin by learning about the Payer Policy and Legislative work the NMDP is doing. The, respond to the calls for action -- they make it easy for all of us." The more people participating in advocacy the greater the likelihood to influence decisions that affect patients and families.