Rapid Response Teams (RRTs)
Diabetes advocates at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) play a key role in informing Congress, and all policymakers, that the ADA’s legislative and regulatory priorities are critically important to the 34 million people living with diabetes and the millions of family members, caregivers and more that are impacted by this disease. To amplify the voice, effect and impact of our advocacy, the ADA has established Rapid Response Teams (RRTs).
Rapid Response Teams are designed to empower Diabetes Advocates to choose the issue(s) most important to them personally and join a similarly passionate group of advocates to form a front-line advocacy response on that issue area. Members of an RRT will be given an opportunity to be a “first responder” to ADA’s advocacy calls to action, targeted advocacy outreach, face-to-face advocacy at home and, as necessary, in Washington D.C. and state capitals, and to help spread the word about critical advocacy initiatives. By belonging to an RRT, advocates are committing to ongoing and engaged advocacy throughout the year and responding to specific advocacy calls to action within 24 hours or in an appointed timeframe.
When RRTs will be called to act
Below are a few examples of the types of issues that will trigger a response from the RRT.
- When we need to demonstrate the impact of a policy issue
- When immediate action is needed on the issue area
- When legislation about this issue is being considered by policymakers
- In response to last-minute meeting requests by policymakers (based on constituency)
- Before or after hearings related to the issue area
- Engaging in key advocacy initiatives: Congress at Home, Call to Congress, American Diabetes Month, etc.
Types of actions
As a member of an RRT, certain requests will require members to act within 24 hours of notification. Other requests for advocacy engagement will allow for an extended window for response.
Actions requiring immediate response:
- Sending a message to your policymaker regarding the issue
- Calling a policymaker to discuss the issue area by phone
- Posting a social media message and tagging your member of Congress or policymaker
Actions with extended timeframe for response:
- Seeking meetings with policymakers
- Engaging/submitting a local media piece
- Participating in Congress at Home initiative/meetings
- Participating in ADA advocacy events
The only requirements are responsiveness, and to stay on-message.
The following resources will be provided to advocates to maximize success and ensure full preparation, education and coordination with ADA advocacy campaigns and initiatives.
- Sample messages
- Talking points
- Phone script
- Training videos & webinars
Which RRT will you represent?
One of ADA’s legislative priorities is to seek and support policy and funding to support diabetes research. Whether it be the Special Diabetes Program or funding to support CDC and NIH research, this RRT will concentrate on action and engagement around enhanced support for diabetes research. This will most often occur at the federal level and be connected to the federal funding and appropriations process. The Research RRT will focus on supporting ADA’s priority to increase funding dedicated to diabetes research, programs, and clinical translation of research, including, but not limited to:
- The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.
- The Division of Diabetes Translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- The Special Diabetes Program for type 1 research and programs in American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
- The National Diabetes Prevention Program to support community-based programs to prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes research and prevention programs in states.
- Protecting research opportunities.
About 7 million people depend on insulin to live and thrive in their everyday life. This RRT will focus on advocating for policies and outreach to make insulin affordable to anyone who depends on this life-sustaining medication. Whether it be advocating for greater price transparency throughout the supply chain or supporting limits on cost sharing, the Insulin Affordability RRT will advocate to ensure both immediate and long-term affordability and access to insulin.
Healthcare coverage & access
The importance of health insurance coverage and access to care cannot be overstated, particularly for those managing the ongoing demands and realities of diabetes. This RRT will focus on advocating for policies and programs that support adequate and affordable access to care, medication, tools, education and insurance coverage to meet ADA’s Standards of Medical Care. Whether it’s Medicaid, Medicare private insurance or the Affordable Care Act, advocates on this RRT will be asked to engage in order to advance policies that support affordable access to healthcare for people living with diabetes. Some of the specific issue areas covered in this RRT include, but are not limited to:
- Protecting and Strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes important consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes.
- Expanding access to Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT), an important service for people living with diabetes that helps them self-manage their care.
- Expanding Medicaid eligibility and closing coverage gaps in Medicaid benefits for people with diabetes and prediabetes.
One of the most effective forms of advocacy is building a personal relationship with your policymaker and their office. ADA will call upon this RRT to set up and attend meetings, town halls, and other events to educate lawmakers on diabetes priorities at the state and federal level. One example of face to face advocacy is Congress at Home, an annual initiative where advocates sign up to participate in meetings with their policymakers each August, when legislators are at home for recess. ADA will provide the resources necessary to make a positive impact.