Contacting Health Professionals
Many groups and Intergroups make efforts to reach out to professionals in the health community to spread the word that Overeaters Anonymous is available. It is surprising how many health professionals are not aware of us as a resource. Outreach can include doctors, nutritionists, diabetes educators. treatment centers and counselors who deal with eating disorders. Employee Assistance Programs in large corporations are another place that might be approached.
Here are a few ideas:
- Order and distribute the brochure, When Should I Refer Someone to Overeaters Anonymous? (See Five Easy Steps for Outreach Packets, below)
- Display and/or give presentations at Health Fairs
- Display and/or give presentations at medical conferences (cost assistance is available)
- Go to medical conferences as a day-attendee only (less expensive) and talk to and distribute literature while there.
- Bogota Columbia IG introduced OA to health and health Education professionals by having their members personally invite professionals to an event:
- A two-hour presentation of the OA recovery program, the steps, tools, personal stories, a pod cast and Q&A, was made to approximately 30 in attendance. All materials were translated into Spanish.
- A binder with information and a directory to contact groups in Bogota was given to all who attended.
- Bogota IG has kept in touch and is working with many of the professionals from the event.
- An additional presentation was made at the office of the Health Secretary of Bogota and to 10 psychologists that give support to children and adolescents that call the government’s special designated phone line that was established to promote health and to prevent violence.
Five Easy Steps for Outreach Packets to Medical Practices
(Ideas from the Greater Atlanta Intergroup)
1) Prepare a Cover Letter (here is an example from Greater Atlanta)
IMPORTANT: Make sure you customize this letter for your own Intergroup or Group on the header and contact details. You should sign the letter from your main group contact (first name, last name initial, and phone number.)
2) Three to four copies of the brochure “When should I Refer Someone to Overeaters Anonymous?” https://bookstore.oa.org/pamphlets/when-should-i-refer-someone-to-overeaters-anonymous-to-members-of-the-helping-professions-770.asp
3) 3-4 of the sticky note pack “Is Food a Problem for You?” https://bookstore.oa.org/pamphlets/bulletin-board-attraction-sticky-notes-pad-of-twenty-five-440.asp
IMPORTANT: you should be sure to write a contact name and number on *each page* of the tear off sheets. Or you can print a label to put in that spot. It is important that people have a contact.
4) Put all of these items into an envelope.
5) Take them to a medical practice and ask if you can drop it off. If you wish, you can call in advance to check to make sure it is okay.
Ideas for places to approach and tips on how to find them:
Tip: Don’t get lost in trying to find ALL the places or the “best” places. Just pick a few and do it! Don’t worry if you overlap with someone else’s efforts. That’s never bad.
- Any general medical practice is a candidate. Simply take a packet to your doctor’s office if they are in a group (or take a smaller amount if it’s an individual practice)
- You can google “Medical Practices in [your city]” TIP: avoid the first 3-4 on the list which are advertisers. Scroll down to find search results.
- American Medical Association doctor finder –https://doctorfinder.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder/
- Bariatric groups – https://asmbs.org/patients/find-a-provider
- Gastroenterologists – https://gi.org/patients/find-a-gastroenterologist/
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – https://members.aapmr.org/AAPMR/AAPMR_FINDER.aspx
- Endocrinologists (Diabetes) – https://www.hormone.org/find-an-endocrinologist
- Diabetes Educators – https://nf01.diabeteseducator.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=AADE&WebCode=AADEDiaEduDirectory
- Behavioral Health Treatment – https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- Nutritionists – https://www.eatright.org/find-a-nutrition-expert
- Psychologists – https://locator.apa.org/
Other useful doctor directories