Use These 7 Strategies to Become the Neuro Expert in Your Community
I probably don’t need to tell anyone reading this why having a community around you is important, right? Belonging to a community is as old as humanity itself. Research shows that being socially connected can prevent depression and contribute to a more fulfilling life. Having a strong community will also help you to build a lasting neurologic practice with trust and rapport by better understanding the community’s needs. As physical therapists, we foster a sense of community through caring, compassion, and building relationships. We can also take that a step further and make a greater impact by building relationships with the community groups - like the local nonprofits - that those living with lifelong neurologic conditions will turn to when they need support and guidance.
Here are 3 important reasons you want to collaborate with your local community groups:
1) You will establish yourself as the neuro (PD, MS, etc) expert in your area and beyond
2) You will reach a larger audience than you can in 1:1 care in the clinic which equals more exposure…More Exposure = Greater Impact
3) You can open up new opportunities for yourself and/or your practice
Just to be clear on what I’m talking about, here are some examples of groups with which the NeuroCollaborative founders are involved:
· The National Parkinson Foundation
· The MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society
· The FSH (Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy) Society
· Power for Parkinson’s
· Capital Area Parkinson’s Society
· The American Parkinson’s Disease Association, Los Angeles chapter
There are many more than these, and they are all dying to collaborate with you, I promise!
Once you are ready to collaborate with community groups, here are 7 ways (and there are many more, but this will get you started!) that you can build relationships with groups in your area.
Contact the group of your choice and offer to:
1) Speak at an upcoming event on why exercise is important to this population and what NeuroPT can offer
2) Host a table at one of their upcoming events
3) Lead a warm-up or exercise module at their next walk or event
4) Host/teach one of their classes or workshops at your clinic (e.g. the MS Society has many workshops and classes that they need locations and instructors for)
5) Provide a day of free screens (e.g. posture, balance, etc.) to their target audience at your clinic (e.g. we do this for the FSH Society, and it is wildly successful!)
6) Perform a live Q&A on their social media platform (Again, we have done this for the FSH Society on Facebook, and it was a hit!)
7) Write a guest blog post for their website on the benefits of exercise and NeuroPT
There are so many ways you can become involved with local community groups! You may even have patients who are involved in these groups who can get you connected, so start asking them how you can be involved. The name of the game here is building lasting relationships, giving back to your community, and helping to spread the #iloveneuro spirit.
Many people in the community (and even people living with neurologic diagnoses) don’t even know that neurologic PT is a thing! (Insert “super-surprised” emoji here). This needs to change, and it is simple to do! Now go forth and serve your community!
If you’d like to continue the discussion on building relationships and other #NeuroPT topics, please join our closed Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/neurocollaborative/
We’d also love to hear from you on topics you’d like us to discuss. Fill out our very brief survey at www.iloveneuro.com/survey and sign up for our newsletter at www.iloveneuro.com to get our 7 Steps to Carving out Your Neuro Niche in a Non-Neuro World free!
Until next time—keep your #iloveneuro spirit strong and keep changing lives!!
Erin Caudill, PT, DPT, NCS