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Advocating for yourself and others is vitally important to ensuring that legislators learn and understand what is important to their constituents. Every voice makes a difference, and our collective voices will make a significant impact for all those affected by gastrointestinal illness. The materials and videos provided below are designed to help you learn how to become a well-prepared advocate.  The Legislative Education portion will help you understand Congress, the process legislation must undergo, and legislative priorities that affect GI disorders. The Advocating section will guide you as you prepare to contact your legislators and share your story. This section features two active patient leaders and advocates who have significant experience advocating for themselves and others.

Advocate Training Documents

The following Advocate Training documents can be downloaded in a PDF format. If you have any difficulty downloading these documents, or any further questions, please email


This packet contains all the information necessary to have successful legislative contacts on Monday, July 27th. The Participant Packet will guide you as you familiarize yourself on legislative priorities, prepare your calls and emails, write your personal story, and locate and contact your congressional offices.

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Please download the following two documents and attach them to the email you send to your congressional contacts. If you have any difficulty downloading or emailing these documents please email and we will assist you to learn more about how to locate and contact your legislator, please view the Contact Your Legislative Offices video and Participant Packet. If you would like to learn more about any of the legislative priorities, more detailed issues briefs are located in the IFFGD Legislative Packet.

Advocate Training Videos

Legislative Education


Frequently Asked Questions

Advocates in Action

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How Congress Works

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This video offers a background on Congress and an overview of how it is structured. Our speaker explains how and why your voice, as an advocate, is so vitally important.

Philip Goglas II
Washington Representative

How a Bill Becomes a Law

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This video offers an overview of the full process a piece of legislation must go through before it can become public law.

Yoshi Rooker
Media Intern

H.R. 3396 Overview

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The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2019

Learn about this important piece of legislation and how it will positively impact those affected by functional GI and motility disorders.

Philip Goglas II
Washington Representative

Legislative Priorities in Gastrointestinal Disorders


Learn about all of IFFGD’s legislative priorities and why they are important to the gastrointestinal patient community.

Ceciel Rooker

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Contacting Your Legislative Offices

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This video offers information on how to successfully contact your Congressional offices during our Call to Action day on Monday, July 27th. The material covered includes how to locate your legislative offices, prepare for and complete calls and emails, and tips on how to best share your personal story.

Marissa Lombardi
Program Coordinator

Advocating For Yourself


This video offers insight and experience into how to best advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Our speaker is an active member of IFFGD’s Patient Advisory Committee and experienced advocate.

Melissa Adams VanHouten
Patient Advisory Committee, IFFGD

Advocating on the National Level From Home


Making your voice heard to government official in Washington D.C. is vitally important. Although current times prevent us from doing so in-person, this video offers insight into how you can best advocate on a National level, even from home. Our speaker is an active member of IFFGD’s Patient Advisory Committee and experienced advocate.

Debbie Popp
Patient Advisory Committee, IFFGD

How to Follow-up Your Contact With Congress

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Following-up after your congressional contacts is as important as the original contact itself. This video offers information on how you should continue contact with your legislator and what information you should email to afterwards.

Philip Goglas II
Legislative Director
Health and Medicine Counsel

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Learn the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Advocacy.

Marissa Lombardi
Program Coordinator

IFFGD gratefully aknowledges support from Takeda Pharmaceuticals for this advocacy initiative.

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Complete the short form here to sign-up for IFFGD’s Advocacy Connection e Newsletter.

With this new platform, IFFGD is looking to educate and update community members on advocacy topics relevant to gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. It is vital for patients, families/friends, and professionals affected by GI illness to understand that voicing their concerns can make a difference. Lawmakers and government agencies rely on the stories and experiences of everyday Americans to guide them in important decision-making processes. This eNewsletter will inform and assist you as you advocate for yourself and/or loved ones.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

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