Building Support for AMIGAS
As the program administrator, you play a vital role in advocating and building support for AMIGAS in your organization and in the broader community. Ensuring support before you launch AMIGAS will help your program succeed. When community health workers succeed in motivating women to get screened, it is essential that the clinical services and support structures are in place so that women can get screened for cervical cancer. If the providers support the program, it will help both providers and women have a positive experience with the program. Failure to get the support you need may harm the credibility and reputation of both community health workers and your program.
Building Support in Your Organization
Organizational support will help your AMIGAS program thrive. Support from the top leaders and managers in your organization can be very helpful. If you have their support, they may help you get the resources you need to keep the program going. They may be able to help you promote the program as well as gain the support of community leaders and staff.
Support from the staff is also important. If staff members are enthusiastic about AMIGAS, they can encourage women to participate in the program. They also may interact directly with women who agree to be screened, helping to make the experience a positive one.
Every clinic or community organization is different. We encourage you to think early about who needs to support this program.
- Who are the leaders or managers in your organization that need to be engaged?
- Are there board members who need to be involved?
- Are there providers or other staff who should be engaged early?
We also encourage you to think about what they need to know to give their enthusiastic support.
- Are they most interested in how AMIGAS will benefit women in the community?
- Do they need to see how AMIGAS will help them meet the organization’s goals?
- Do providers need to understand how AMIGAS will affect their time and work flow?
- What messages will be the most compelling?
Use the information provided on program benefits to start the conversation. You may also wish to gather some information on your local community that will help you make your case in a convincing way.
After you have your organization’s leaders on board, consider inviting them to join you in talking with other staff members. Your AMIGAS program will benefit from the enthusiastic support of all staff. To get the support of your staff, consider talking to them about—
- Why AMIGAS will help your community.
- How AMIGAS will operate on a daily basis.
- How AMIGAS can benefit other programs in the organization.
Building Support in Your Community
The community can be an important program resource. Community support can help you obtain resources, recruit women, and provide cervical cancer screening to women. We encourage you to think carefully about how you want to communicate this new program to your community.
To start, we encourage you to think about who in the community you want to reach and why you need their support.
- Who can help you plan the program?
- Who can help you encourage women to participate?
- Who can provide resources to support women who decide to get screened?
- Who will provide testing to women who decide to get screened?
- Who should know about the program when you are ready to implement?
- Who can help with referrals for treatment?
After you have identified who you need to reach in the community, think about how you want to reach them.
- Can you build on ties that you have built through other programs?
- Do other staff or board members have relationships with people or agencies that can help you?
- Do you have a public relations person within your organization who has contacts with the local media? If so, that person can help you develop messages and a media plan.
- Can you use social media to get your message to your community?
Also, think about when the best time is to reach the people whose support you need.
- What messages are important when the program first begins?
- What program feedback do community members need to know six months or a year after AMIGAS starts?
- When is it best to do a final report back to your community? At key milestones? At the conclusion of AMIGAS?