We at #MEAction are so excited to welcome Erin Roediger as our new U.S. Advocacy Manager!
We are thrilled that with Erin’s wealth of healthcare advocacy, volunteer coordination, and electoral campaign experience, we will be able to expand our congressional outreach program in concert with our partner organizations – the Solve ME/CFS Initiative and the Massachusetts ME/CFS and FM Association – to build support on the Hill for greater research funding and equal access to medical care for all people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome.
For three years, #MEAction’s congressional advocacy efforts have been led by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Our Congress team has trained and mobilized thousands of patients across the country to reach out to their Members about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). We supported the Solve ME/CFS Initiative’s lobby weeks in DC and congressional briefing to highlight the urgent need to fund ME/CFS research. We organized numerous online calls-to-action resulting in more than 4,000 messages being sent to Congress about ME! Most recently, we published our Congressional Toolkit to better equip advocates for ME.
Activists have also taken action at the state level, passing state resolutions in New York, California, Georgia, Illinois and many other states. They’ve organized dozens of #MillionsMissing protests, rallies, and awareness-raising events. In New York, activists worked with the State Health Commissioner to send a letter about ME to over 85,000 medical professionals and get information on ME published on the Department of Health’s website.
Moving forward, Erin will also work with #MEActon’s network of state and local groups to build local volunteer capacity around congressional outreach, local and state advocacy, medical education, and support awareness-raising efforts for ME. We want to build a strong, national, distributed network of patient activists and allies, and grow the movement for health equality.
Erin began her professional career working for health nonprofits. She enjoys going to work knowing she is making a difference everyday. Erin has worked for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Erin created fluid events for thousands of participants, hundreds of volunteers, raising millions for research, greater awareness, and better patient support.
At Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Erin worked as the Regional Affiliate Manager where she provided guidance for the local affiliates. During her time at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Erin trained volunteers on how to share their personal story and make direct asks from elected officials during Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. While serving as either an events manager or a volunteer coordinator, she always focused on making sure individuals felt connected to the cause and were energized to take action.
In addition to working in the non-profit spectrum, Erin has worked on several electoral and issue driven campaigns. That is where her love for advocacy was solidified. In 2012, Erin worked for Organizing for America in Colorado Springs. She recruited and built many volunteer Neighborhood Teams, led a myriad of phonebanking and canvassing events, and managed a campaign office. Through strong volunteer engagement and action, Organizing for America was able to win in Colorado.
After that year, Erin volunteered with Organizing for Action in Arizona to help lead a group focused on climate change. In 2014, she worked on Representative Kyrsten Sinema’s reelection campaign where her efforts, as Canvass Director, helped to win that district by double digits!
Working with campaign volunteers, Erin witnessed firsthand how a powerful group of individuals can create change in their communities, especially when they are working together for a common goal! She is thrilled to bring her expertise to #MEAction!
Erin was quickly drawn to #MEAction’s mission after watching Jen Brea’s TED Talk and documentary, Unrest. The stories shared in Unrest left a lasting impression on her, and signified the importance of the work ahead.
Be on the lookout for more information in the coming months about how to get involved in our growing advocacy work!
A year ago, we were proud to announce that #MEAction and Mayo Clinic Rochester had won a grant for diagnostic improvement, with Ravindra Ganesh, and Stephanie Grach, and I on the grant as co-investigators. Our project, Improving Diagnostic Accuracy of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Through Implementation of an Enhanced Education Protocol and Care Process Model