A new role.

Since I became part of this Diabetes Community, I’ve been encouraged by a number of people to tell my story… to raise my hand… to ask questions… to speak my truths.

I was encouraged by Christel, who wrote this blog post nearly two years ago, and has had me thinking about how to use my voice ever since.

I’ve been encouraged by Cherise, who, for the last five years, has reminded me constantly that my voice matters just as much as anyone else’s.

I was encouraged by Bennet, who told me over four years ago:
“I tend to think of us as more inclusive than exclusive. We need all the advocates we can get”.

Thanks to the encouragement of these friends and many others, I can now reveal that Maryland’s Secretary of Health has named me to the initial State Advisory Council on Health and Wellness.

The council is pretty big: 34 members. Sixteen are from groups like the State Department of Health, Department of Aging, and Department of Education; plus groups like the American Heart Association, The American Diabetes Association, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the University of Maryland School of Nursing. The remaining 18 members are individuals like me. My term will last two years, during which I will attend two meetings of the full Council each year, plus at least four quarterly meetings each year working with a committee, hopefully on diabetes.

I don’t know where this is all headed. But I know this: the people in the room get to be part of the discussion.

We need people in the room.

So, as I have been challenged, let me challenge you:

– Think about and search ways to use your voice within your very own community.

– Remember that your voice matters just as much as anyone else’s.

– Don’t forget that we need every single advocate we can get.

I will also add: Look for places and ways to help others find their voice too.

I’ve often wondered if my writing and podcasting might eventually lead me toward more of a public service role than I had imagined five and a half years ago. I guess the answer is Yes. In fact, my service is now dedicated to my Diabetes Community, and my entire community on a statewide level.

My encouragement to you is to get into the room. Break the door down if you have to. Be part of the discussion.

People find their roles in ways they often cannot foresee when they begin a journey. The lovely part is enjoying the journey, and making each role as meaningful as possible. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life.

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Comments

  • n1iwr  On October 13, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Good for u, Steve!! Shout ur story from the rooftops if need be!! There isn’t a man or woman for that matter better Than u for the job!! Keep kicking a$$ & make those of us w diabetes know to the powers that be!!U RICK!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Rick Phillips  On October 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    That rocks Stephen.

    Like

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