Being an Empowered Advocate: The Role of the Clinician in Changing Policy

Health advocacy is essential for system reforms and positive change. Advocacy encompasses a wide range of activities that influence decision makers and ultimately shape policies from the local/state level to the federal level. As the health care system continues to evolve, HCPs must incorporate advocacy into their roles to ensure increased access, reduced costs and higher quality of care. Being an advocate can have far-reaching effects on the public’s health by providing policymakers with the data and patient/consumer examples they need to make informed decisions. Whether advocating locally or globally, HCPs’ expertise is vital to the policy making process. At a time when the nation is discussing health reform, HCPs can help explain to federal and state legislators the impact of policy changes on patients, their families and the community. However, without a sound understanding of the legislative process, policy advocates run the risk of having their message lost by working with the wrong people at the wrong time.

This webcast will provide an overview of the current health care environment, the health policy process and the role of health advocacy on implementing policies. The legislative and advocacy process will be discussed and resources to help effectively develop and influence health policy will be shared. Examples of the role of the HCP at local, state and federal levels to support high-risk consumers will be explored.

Learning objectives
At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the landscape of health care in the U.S. including demographics and federal and state health care programs (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • Discuss the legislative process and the role of advocacy in shaping federal, state and local health policies impacting patients
  • Explore resources and strategies to empower HCPs to develop the confidence and skills to effectively shape and influence health policy
  • Provide examples of the HCP role at local, state and federal levels supporting high-risk consumers

Suan MullaneyModerator
Susan Mullaney, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC
Senior Director
Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group
Minnetonka, MN

About the moderator
Susan Mullaney, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC, is one of the clinical leaders at the Center for Clinician Advancement. She joined UnitedHealth Group in 1999 and has been a Senior Director with the Center since 2016. Sue’s focus is on empowering practice and advocacy. Sue is both a DNP and a GNP with a passion for the care of older adults and health policy.


Suzanne MiyamotoSuzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN
Chief Policy Officer
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Washington, DC

Tammy J. MoghadamTammy J. Moghadam, LCSW, MPH
Senior Clinical Trainer
United Clinical Services, Learning & Performance Solutions
C&S Long Term Services & Support
Austin, TX

Sara PescatelloSara Pescatello
Vice President
Health Policy, External Affairs
UnitedHealth Group
Washington, DC

About the presenters
Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Chief Policy Officer at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). With over a decade of policy experience, Dr. Miyamoto serves on the senior leadership team while overseeing and providing strategic guidance for the programmatic areas of health policy, higher education policy, government affairs, leadership progression, diversity and inclusion and strategic outreach as well as research and analytics. She also is the Convener for the Nursing Community, a coalition of 63 national nursing organizations that collaborate on a wide spectrum of health policy issues.

Dr. Miyamoto is a 2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow and adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, School of Nursing and Health Studies as well as a clinical adjunct professor at Marymount University, Malek School of Health Professions. Additionally, she is a Senior Associate Editor for the journal Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice.

Tammy Moghadam, LCSW, MPH, has 20 years of experience as a social worker and has been with UnitedHealth Group for 5 years. She has experience as a front line clinician as well as management experience with programs focused on improving access to high quality, cost-effective care. Serving now as a Senior Clinical Trainer with UnitedHealth Group, she is committed to the mission of helping people live healthier lives in her professional and volunteer endeavors and finds her focus on being a patient advocate very rewarding. Tammy has served on the board of the Travis County Medical Alliance for 3 years and is currently the VP of Medical Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for sharing current policies on medical issues with the membership, raising funds to provide grants to community programs and meeting with legislative representatives to discuss policies that affect the health of Texans. In the past, she was also the chairperson for the Volunteer Health Clinic, a Ronald McDonald House volunteer for the alliance, as well as a member of the Woman’s Advisory Committee for Lakeway Regional Medical Center. Before coming to UnitedHealth Group, she worked on a grant between the Housing Authority of New Orleans and Tulane University, acted as clinical social worker a various hospital settings and provided therapy in a private practice.

Sara Pescatello works for UnitedHealth Group serving as the Vice President for Health Policy, External Affairs where she manages the Medicare portfolio. Sara focuses on advancing UnitedHealth Group health care policy priorities, including supporting Medicare Advantage and modernizing Original Medicare. Prior to working at UnitedHealth Group, Sara worked for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) where she spent eight years working on a variety of health insurance and public health activities, including serving as Executive Director of Medicare Policy & Federal Programs.

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM, OptumHealth Education requires all those involved in the development of activity content to disclose their relevant financial relationships. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if such person (or his/her spouse/partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the activity content over which the individual has control. OptumHealth Education ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Faculty disclosure
The moderator and presenters of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Activity planners

Sarah Chart, RN
Senior Director
OptumHealth Education

Jeanne Gibson, RN
Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Rebecca Gleason, RN
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

Mary Jo Jerde, MBA, BSN, RN
Senior Vice President
Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Jennifer K. Meyer, MBA, CSSBB
Center for Clinician Advancement
UnitedHealth Group

Tina Rydland, PharmD
Crystal Clear Rx
Denver, CO

V. Silverstein, MD
Eagle Creek Medical Communications
Durham, NC

Activity planner disclosures
Ms. Gibson, Ms. Jerde and Ms. Meyer have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.
Ms. Chart and Ms. Gleason have indicated that they are employees of and own stock in UnitedHealth Group.
Dr. Rydland has indicated that she is a consultant for HAP Innovation.
Dr. Silverstein has reported that she has no relevant financial relationships.

Method of participation
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this activity. For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.

Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the activity, which includes the following:

  • Completing the entire activity
  • Completing the pre- and post-activity assessments, activity evaluation and application for certificate of credit

You must be logged into your account to participate in this activity. Get started by clicking “Begin” and viewing the “CE Info”; then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen. At the end of the activity, you will be able to view, save or print your certificate of participation. The Area of Practice you indicated in your profile corresponds with your certificate type. A complete listing of all of your activities can be found under “My Account,” “My Activities.”

Method for Calculating CE Credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation statement
Joint Accreditation LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group — Center for Clinician Advancement. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit designation statements
IPCE Credit LogoThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.
The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hour(s) ([0.10] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 1.00 contact hour(s).
Unique Activity Number(s): JA0007123-9999-18-119-H04-P

Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hour(s) ([0.10] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 1.00 contact hour(s).
Unique Activity Number(s): JA0007123-9999-18-119-H04-T

OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Case managers
The Commission for Case Manager Certification has approved this program for a maximum of 1.00 clock hour(s) for Certified Case Managers (CCM).

Counselors, Psychologists, and/or Marriage and Family Therapists
This event is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Satisfactory Completion
Participants must have attended the entire web-based activity and completed an evaluation in order to receive a certificate. Partial credit is not available.

R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. 1.00 CE hour.

Counselors and/or marriage and family therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists.
IL: Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation, Approved Continuing Education Sponsor, #168-000141. (1) hours.
OH: Provider approved by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for (1) clock hours, #RCST110701
TX: Approved CE Sponsor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists. Provider #151. 1 CE hour.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure. The Ohio Board includes Counselors and MFTs.

Disability access
If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 14 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification.

Please note: Licensing Boards change regulations often and, while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization with which they wish to obtain credit.

This activity is jointly provided by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealth Group — Center for Clinician Advancement.

Commercial support
There was no commercial support received for this activity.

Hardware/software requirements
To view this activity, you will need Internet Explorer 7.0+ or Firefox 3.0+ with Windows Media Player 9+, RealPlayer 12+ or Adobe Flash Player 9+. Be sure to disable any pop-up blocking software prior to beginning this activity.

Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of case managers, counselors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physicians, psychologists, marriage and family therapists and other health care professionals (HCPs) who have an interest in health advocacy.

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 CCMC - General - Case Managers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 1.00 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 APA - Psychologists
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 CCMC - General - Case Managers
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