On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, Jenna Kantor guests hosts and interviews Stephanie Weyrauch on advocacy mentorship. An active member of the national physical therapy community, Stephanie has served on multiple national task forces for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and actively lobbies for healthcare policy issues at the local, state, and national levels of government. Stephanie is a nationally sought after speaker and consultant for topics on social media use, generational issues, and organizational membership.
In this episode, we discuss:
-Why you need an advocacy mentor to help guide you through healthcare policy
-The benefits of being a mentor
-The key to having successful advocacy efforts
-And so much more!
For more information on Stephanie:
An active member of the national physical therapy community, Stephanie has served on multiple national task forces for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and actively lobbies for healthcare policy issues at the local, state, and national levels of government. Stephanie is a nationally sought after speaker and consultant for topics on social media use, generational issues, and organizational membership. Stephanie serves as the Vice President for the Connecticut Physical Therapy Association. She is also the co-host for The Healthcare Education Transformation Podcast, which focuses on innovations in healthcare education and delivery.
Stephanie is a Passionate Chicago Cubs fan who enjoys playing the saxophone, writing and weightlifting in her spare time. During business and leisure travels, she is always up for exploring local foodie and coffee destinations.
For more information on Jenna:
Jenna Kantor (co-founder) is a bubbly and energetic girl who was born and raised in Petaluma, California. Growing up, she trained and performed ballet throughout the United States. After earning a BA in Dance and Drama at the University of California, Irvine, she worked professionally in musical theatre for 15+ years with tours, regional theatres, & overseas (www.jennakantor.com) until she found herself ready to move onto a new chapter in her life – a career in Physical Therapy. Jenna is currently in her 3rd year at Columbia University’s Physical Therapy Program. She is also a co-founder of the podcast, “Physiotherapy Performance Perspectives,” has an evidence-based monthly youtube series titled “Injury Prevention for Dancers,” is a NY SSIG Co-Founder, NYPTA Student Conclave 2017 Development Team, works with the NYPTA Greater New York Legislative Task Force and is the NYPTA Public Policy Committee Student Liaison. Jenna aspires to be a physical therapist for amateur and professional performers to help ensure long, healthy careers. To learn more, please check out her website: www.jennafkantor.wixsite.com/jkpt
Read the full transcript below:
Jenna Kantor (00:03):
Hello. Hello. Hello, this is Jenna Kantor. I'm here with Stephanie Weyrauch. You guys probably know. I mean she's not any stranger to this podcast. How many podcasts have you done on this specific one? I wish I could say third time as a charm as we go. But I wanted to bring on the good old Stephanie Weyrauch however you want to refer to her. Or you could be like, hello, master or master, whatever you prefer. I'm going to bring on Stephanie today because she's actually my advocacy mentor. And I wanted to bring her on to talk about this because I don't think people realize this can be a thing. And so I'm like you want to come on, she's all, yo, let's do it. So this is where we are. And I wanted to open this up, especially to any student physical therapist grads who are looking to get more involved with the APTA and just don't get that guidance from someone that they trust and who believes in that. So Stephanie, why do you think I wanted to work with you?
Stephanie Weyrauch (01:21):
I think that to do with the women in PT summit. I mean I know that, I remember the first time that we met Jenna, we were at the women in PT summit. I had seen a lot of your videos on social media and you and I were friends in social media and so I remember I came up to you and I said, Oh, you're going to at four. And you said, Oh my God, you've seen my stuff. That's so cool. Sort of talking and I think you based off of your interest in advocacy and based off of, I think you knowing that I was involved in advocacy, we just started talking about it and I think that that's just how the hell, it was a really organic thing. It wasn't anything that was really formal. It was just like, Hey, we have this common interest. We know we both enjoy. I mean we both are passionate about the profession and I think that's kind of what led you to me.
Jenna Kantor (02:12):
Yeah. It's funny to say it's not horrible, but to be, I remember when I asked you, I felt like I was asking you to be my girlfriend. Will you? Will you be my advocacy is a big deal. I think this is important to bring up as somebody who's really watched to continue my involvement with the APTA making changes that I foresee that will be so great for its growth. I really wanted to bring this up because it's necessarily easy to find the right person. I think of it as dating. At the end of the day, there's a lot of people who will give you tidbits, but for somebody like you or I can say, Hey, I need to talk to, they'll be available to talk to like brainstorm or whatever, or even if it's just a hard time, get through a Rocky space. Just brainstorming, but that's extremely valuable. A lot of physical therapists who are involved, they don't necessarily believe in beyond that level where I feel comfortable to be open.
Stephanie Weyrauch (03:23):
Yeah, I mean I think that, you know, you make a really good point about finding the right person because you know, while people say that you can go up to anybody and say, Hey, will you mentor me? I mean you really have to build that relationship, which is what advocacy is all about, right? I have been a really good advocate. It's all about building relationships and so finding that person that you can be yourself around yet that person is going to be honest enough with you to tell them you know, the things that you either need to improve on. Be that critical feedback, but also give you that positive feedback to reinforce that you're doing the things and finding that balance. So I think that you make a good point about making sure that you're finding the right person. And my advice to people is if you are interested in finding an advocacy mentor, just a mentor in general, try to foster that connection. That relationship is really important.
Jenna Kantor (04:27):
I remember it was a process for me because now they know what they're doing. They have what I want and everything, but I didn't feel a hundred percent and I think that is something we forget. You just think they're amazing, but how do they make you feel about yourself when you're with them? Do they make you feel good? I've had conversations with you where you've started to get me, you know, you're like, I think this, and I said our walls, that's not where you want. It may have been with the step never on me. Things that were my specific goals and values about within myself. It's been very helpful finding someone who I can be me all the way, which is a challenge.
Stephanie Weyrauch (05:28):
And I think that that's an important thing for mentors is that creating a mini, you're creating a person who is their own individual person and has attributes that they can bring to the table to make them strong advocate or you know, whatever the mentorship relationship is about, you're just moving them along. I always think that, you know, being a mentor is even cooler than accomplishing something yourself because the mentee accomplishes something in that route. And you foster that accomplishment by, you know, facilitating their growth and making sure that they're connected with the right people. I mean, that's just as rewarding and if not even more, all the extra people that you get to touch in addition to, you know, your own personal development as an advocate in your own personal development as a leader. So I think that, you know, it's something that not only helps you as the individual mentee, but you as the mentor, it allows you to have a larger reach and what you will have just in your little bubble who in your own advocacy thing.
Jenna Kantor (06:44):
Yeah, that's true. That's really, really true. And it's not easy because like you mentioned earlier, there are people who many people say, Oh yeah, I just spoke to anyone. So you have to make a decision for yourself. Are you good with getting snippets of people and having a law or would you want someone that's going to be viable for you, devoted to investing time, give you that advice and guidance? There's no wrong answer to that. I discovered that I needed only one. Stephanie became Michael B wonder what would be a Harry Potter reference.
Stephanie Weyrauch (07:30):
So I mean, Elvis stumbled or of course not Baltimore. Baltimore does not. Definitely not. No way. Don't compare me to Baltimore compared me to the more. I think that that's another thing about mentorship that can be challenging is the time commitment. And you're right, you can have multiple mentors that you know, don't really need, that you don't really need to spend a lot of time with. But again, if that mentor is really into facilitating your growth, they're going to be, it's going to be okay that they're going to invest time. And you know, it may not be like a one hour weekly phone call when you see them. Like they're going to want to spend two hours. You can just catch up and see how you're doing. Or they'll text you or email you back and forth. And those are the men. Those are the relationships that are built on, that are built on exactly what you said, relationship. It's not just built on a normal face to face. I mean somebody that you barely know, this is something that you've cultivated, watered, and now the seeds are growing in the beautiful tree is starting to really fester to help kind of bring about that relationship that's needed to have that effective mentor help you.
Jenna Kantor (08:57):
I'm realizing we're making an assumption here. So let's answer the question. Why is it good? Why is it beneficial to have?
Stephanie Weyrauch (09:04):
I think that the benefit for it is because it helps you prep, it prevents you from making mistakes that most people make. And when I think one of the best things about having a mentor, you grow and become better, faster than maybe somebody who had to figure out along the way. Granted there's been multiple people along in the history of time who've been able to figure out their own way, but potentially they could have burned some bridges along the way. They could have had some set backs, they may have missed opportunity. And if there's one thing we know about advocacy, it's all about opportunity. And it's all about presenting your argument in the right way, at the right time for the right things that are going on. And so understanding that and understanding that, especially in today's very polarized political environment, making sure that you are approaching these issues in a way that is proper and in a way that's going to be effective. Because ultimately when you're advocating, you're advocating for your patients, you might be advocating a little bit through your profession, but in general, when you advocate, you make sure that people are getting great care. And right now our healthcare policy is very polarizing. There's lots of different opinions about it. And if you are with the right person and they're guiding you the right way, you're going to go about it in a way that's not going to be as potentially detrimental to the message that you want to send.
Jenna Kantor (10:45):
Yeah. And you're hitting on lots of great. Just like anything, any relationship that relationships, and I'm going to sum it up with a word. You could get blacklist, you can't, it's not like there's a horrible place. Nobody that made no, ain't nobody got time for that. But if you're a person who's constantly coming out like a douche, you're not going to want to know you. Just like you make me feel like crap. That's a thing. So to get, and it's even if you think you are doing something, you never really realize. If you might be cutting down on someone who was put in a lot of hard work, a lot of hard work for zero reimbursement for the profession and that has to be considered even if you completely disagree with it.
Stephanie Weyrauch (11:40):
Right. Well and advocacy takes a long time too. I mean, it's not something that you can go to one meeting and all of a sudden now you have a law passed. I mean it takes 10 it can take up to 20 years as we saw with the Medicare therapy cap to have something actually happen. And that's like a long history of that's like a, Oh that's a history in itself. 20 years. I mean I'm only 30 years old. That means that when I was 10 stuff was going on that I don't even wouldn't even know about. And if I don't have that historical knowledge and that historical information, how can I be an effective advocate? So by having a mentor who knows that history and can help guide you along some of those talking points that you have, because either you don't know the history, you're too young to know the history or you just aren't as familiar with the talking points themselves. You have that person there can give you that. And then when you go to advocate, you have that much more credibility. If there's anything that is really important in advocacy, it's first off, it's credibility and second off it's relationships. What type of relationship have you built with that person? Because if you're a credible person and you have a relationship with them, the chances of them actually listening to you when that app comes, who's a lot better than you're just random person that has no credibility, right?
Jenna Kantor (13:09):
Does natural delight is the things that I personally want to change just for voices, lesser known voices too. That's my own little personal agenda is the important part of this podcast. Very important part. Very, important part of advocacy. Advocate for lameness. So after answering, why do you have to, is it a must in order to achieve what you want within the physical therapy profession? Advocacy wise?
Stephanie Weyrauch (13:50):
I mean I would say yes because I don't know how many of our listeners are experts in healthcare policy, but my guess is that there's not a ton that are experts in health care policy and if you are an expert in health policy, my guess is that you've had a lot of mentorship along the way. I know for me, I mean healthcare policy changes daily and for me, how I have learned has been from being by people who I would consider our healthcare policy experts in addition to them giving me resources that I can use so that I myself can become a health care policy, not to mention really keep emotion out of politics and that is path of what advocacy is, is trying to present a logical argument that isn't based off of emotion, was based off of somebody else's emotion. That's going to further the policy agenda that you're trying to advocate for. And I think one of the hardest parts about advocacy, personal emotion out of the picture.
Stephanie Weyrauch (15:10):
You're there to advocate for your patients. You're not there to advocate for yourself in the end. It doesn't really matter what you believe, it matters what is needed for your patients. And so having just a mentor there to guide you through some of those, that emotional roller coaster of politics and emotion, individual politics with societal politics I think is an essential part of being an effective healthcare advocate. Additionally, there's so much information and having somebody there to help you kind of focus that information and help you figure out what you need to learn and what you can focus on is also really important. I would say yes. Having a mentor is extremely important.
Jenna Kantor (16:02):
I love that and on that note person who has been on this podcast now for this is four times. How can people find you if they haven't listened to you?
Stephanie Weyrauch (16:20):
So you can find me on Twitter. My Twitter handle is @TheSteph21 I'm on Facebook and Instagram. You can find me there or if you want to email me, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org but I would say the best way to reach out to me is probably Twitter.
Jenna Kantor (16:48):
Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet. Well, thank you so much Stephanie, for coming on. It's a joy to share your expertise, to share you with others. Even though I want to claim you all.
Stephanie Weyrauch (17:04):
Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to come on. I'm healthy, wealthy, and smart. Well, once again, and of course it's always great to chat with you about something that I really love. Advocacy.
Jenna Kantor (17:16):
Heck yeah, me too.
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