Pam contacted Representative Jean Schmidt’s (OH-R) office to get a proclamation recognizing November as Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. “I figured I’d go straight to the top!” she exclaimed. Pam’s efforts resulted in the first proclamation from the U.S. Congress recognizing November as PH Awareness Month! Pam and three members of her support group (pictured right) visited U.S. Representative Schmidt in her district office during Awareness Month to accept the proclamation.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Getting a proclamation is a great awareness raiser for lawmakers and community members. Luz said, “This proclamation is the result of the effort that has been carrying the Puerto Rico Support Group to create awareness about this condition in the general community. We are thankful to those that helped us to make it happen.”
After getting a proclamation from the Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, Nicole sent a thank you note. “A thank you note is a great way to build a relationship (with the office). Next time I ask them for a proclamation, they’ll remember me!”
Sometimes when you want a proclamation, it helps to ask your friends and family if they may have a connection to your local elected official’s office! When Kellie decided she wanted to ask Governor Tim Pawlenty to issue a proclamation from the State of Minnesota recognizing November as Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month, she contacted her relative, who had previously worked for the Governor. Once Kellie made the connection, she simply downloaded and emailed the sample proclamation language on PHA’s website. After a few short weeks of follow up, Kellie received the official proclamation in the mail!
Perry Mamigonian had never tried to get a proclamation from his elected officials before, but was inspired to do so for PH Awareness Month. His awareness raising efforts resulted in not one, but two proclamations: one from the California Legislature (see photo right) and one from the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
Endicott, New York
Lisa was diagnosed with primary pulmonary arterial hypertension three years ago. She had never tried to get a proclamation before, but she decided to proactively raise awareness in her community during 2010 PH Awareness Month by getting a proclamation from Endicott NY Mayor John Bertoni. “Not only did the Mayor sign the Proclamation he asked me to speak and members of the board asked many questions. I gave each member an ‘empowered by hope’ bracelet and a periwinkle ribbon…. It’s very exciting to me to know that I’m getting the word out about PH and possibly helping someone who will now have heard of the disease.”
A week after Theresa received a proclamation from the mayor of Defiance, Ohio, she was asked to be on a radio show along with him. They spoke about the symptoms of PH, answered some questions about the disease, and provided an update on PH legislation in Congress. The show got such great feedback that Theresa decided to follow up her proclamation with an interview for an article in her local newspaper and she was also asked by a local television station to be interviewed for a show to air in November, just in time for Awareness Month.
Theresa offers on suggestion for those who are looking to get a proclamation: keep track of your contacts and follow up with anyone with whom you speak!
Do you have a story of successfully requesting a proclamation in your town, city or state? Share it with the PH community by sending it to gro.noitaicossAHP@ycacovdA.