Our Advancement Efforts for Osteopathic Practice in NJ
The New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (NJAOPS) is the only professional organization exclusively representing osteopathic physicians in the state of New Jersey. NJAOPS advocacy focuses on efforts that promote the interests of osteopathic physicians, advance the practice of osteopathic medicine, and improve healthcare in New Jersey.
Here are some examples of areas of advocacy that NJAOPS is frequently involved in:
- Legislative Advocacy: NJAOPS is frequently involved in lobbying efforts that shape healthcare policy at the state level. This can include advocating for legislation that supports osteopathic physicians, addresses healthcare disparities, and improves patient access to care. The ability of our legislative counsel to engage with state legislators and policymakers ensures that laws and regulations are conducive to the practice of osteopathic medicine. Additionally, our legislative counsel advocates for the inclusion of DOs in healthcare decision-making bodies and committees.
The ability of our legislative counsel to participate and bring forth our collective voice to state legislators and policymakers is crucial to our profession and underscores the importance of membership support and contribution to our political action committee, JOPAC, which affords our organization the opportunity to effectively participate in these discussions.
- Regulatory Advocacy: The leadership and staff of NJAOPS stay abreast of the regulatory landscape of New Jersey and work to influence those regulations and administrative policies that impact the practice of osteopathic medicine. This can involve advocating for policies that allow DOs to practice to the full extent of their training and expertise, obtaining fair reimbursement rates, opposing scope of practice expansion of midlevel providers, fair representation in healthcare institutions, and other regulatory issues affecting osteopathic physician practice of medicine.
- Education and Training: NJAOPS provides consistent messaging that emphasizes the rigorous education and training that DOs receive. Whether engaged in legislative or regulatory advocacy or speaking to local community leaders NJAOPS staff is quick to emphasize that DOs undergo similar medical training to allopathic physicians (MDs) but also receive additional training in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), which can be highly effective in treating various conditions and advocate for recognition of this unique training and its benefits in healthcare.
Although NJAOPS and the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan-Virtua SOM) are separate entities, they strongly support each other based on their common interests of promoting osteopathic medical education, osteopathic medicine, and the well-being of the osteopathic medical community in New Jersey. NJAOPS advocates for legislative initiatives that benefit Rowan-Virtua SOM. This can include lobbying for state funding for the school, advocating for policies that support expanding undergraduate and graduate osteopathic medical education, and promoting laws that enhance the role of osteopathic physicians in healthcare. NJAOPS and Rowan-Virtua SOM collaborate on advocacy efforts, educational initiatives, and healthcare policy issues that are important to both the association's members and the medical school's students, faculty, and alumni. This collaboration can involve joint projects, joint educational programs, events, and advocacy campaigns seeking funding for educational programs, research grants, and scholarships for students at Rowan-Virtua SOM.
- Continuing Education: NJAOPS recognizes the importance of lifelong learning and professional development among DOs. Each year NJAOPS delivers educational programs and resources as the Atlantic Regional Osteopathic Conference (AROC) that support the ongoing training and professional development of osteopathic physicians from around the country. AROC is the largest osteopathic conference in Northeast America and provides the opportunity for medical professionals, to stay up to date with the latest medical advancements and improve the quality of care they provide.
- Public Awareness: NJAOPS advocacy efforts also involve raising public awareness about the benefits of osteopathic medicine and the role of osteopathic physicians in the healthcare system. They provide messaging designed to educate the public about the benefits of choosing a DO as their healthcare provider and the unique approach DOs bring to patient care. Equally important NJAOPS provides important public health messages designed to keep the public informed and safe.
- Collaboration: NJAOPS may collaborate with other healthcare organizations, medical societies, and advocacy groups to address common healthcare challenges and achieve shared goals. It is through coalition building that NJAOPS has built strong alliances with other healthcare organizations, patient advocacy groups, and professional associations to amplify advocacy efforts and achieve common goals. Further NJAOPS fosters collaboration between DOs and other healthcare professionals and encourages partnerships and interdisciplinary teamwork to provide comprehensive and holistic care to patients.
- Patient Advocacy: NJAOPS is a staunch advocate for policies and practices prioritizing patient safety, quality care, and improved access to healthcare services in New Jersey. NJAOPS advocates for policies that support underserved communities, expand healthcare infrastructure, and increase the number of primary care physicians, including DOs, in rural and underserved areas.
- Research and Innovation: NJAOPS is a strong supporter of research efforts in osteopathic medicine and advocates for funding and resources to advance scientific research, explore new treatments, and improve patient outcomes.
- Patient-Centered Care: NJAOPS emphasizes the patient-centered approach of osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are trained to treat the whole person, not just specific symptoms or diseases, and NJAOPS advocates for policies that support and promote this patient-centric model of care.
Remember that effective advocacy requires a coordinated effort from all members of NJAOPS, as well as collaboration with other stakeholders in the healthcare industry. By advocating for the interests of DOs and osteopathic medicine, you can contribute to improving healthcare in our state and beyond. It's important to note that the specific advocacy initiatives and priorities of NJAOPS may evolve over time in response to changes in healthcare policy, legislation, and the needs of our members and the community.