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Living Passion Forward: How Erin Gilmer Lives Her Passion

Editor's Note: Ms. JD's Annual Conference, Passion Forward, will take place February 21st-22nd in Austin, Texas.  In the months before the conference, we are pleased to be bringing you posts from our conference speakers.  To learn more about Passion Forward or to register for the conference yourself, click here.  We look forward to seeing you in Austin!

My Top Five Passions Are:

(1) Health as a Human Right

(2) Patient Advocacy

(3) Ignite conversations in the community

(4) Encouraging everyone to break boundaries - challenging ourselves to go beyond any limits we or others try to impose on us.

(5) Engaging in public policy discussions at the state and federal levels

To me, Passion Forward means ….

Following your heart and advocating for your beliefs, for in such endeavors you will find true meaning and success in your life.  

I try to live my life passion forward by….

Advocating for health as a human right, speaking up as a voice for change. I try to allow myself to be vulnerable in presenting my story that I might encourage others to speak about their story and how their experiences have sparked their passions.

My most passion forward moment was….

I started blogging in March 2011 on a broad range of topics I felt applied to health as a human right.  As I’ve continued to write, I’ve been surprised to see how many people from all around the world have read my views and the information I provide.  Two posts in particular stand out – a post on “The Cruelty of Restraints” and a post on “My Experience as a PCORI Reviewer”.  These posts have sparked discussion on human rights and health advocacy that I never expected.  Knowing that my one voice can make a difference is not just one passion forward moment, but one that continues each day.

Advice Time!  My favorite way to showcase my passion is …

Through writing/blogging, social media, engaging in discussions with community members and leaders of all walks of life.  I find that blogging and tweeting brings a message, even if only to one person, that can stimulate discourse.  Such discourse can lead to change in thoughts and actions and thus change the world.  Learning from others through discussion help develop my passion – understanding their views and history and bringing their voices forward offers an opportunity to grow.  Each day I consider how I can better live my life to follow not only my passion, but the ideals behind those passions.

Erin Gilmer is a patient advocate and health policy attorney in Austin, Texas. She received her law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2008. She spent her last year of studies at the prestigious University of Houston Health Law and Policy Institute. Ms. Gilmer graduated suma cum laude from the University of Colorado in 2005 with degrees in psychology and economics with an international emphasis and a minor in political science. She has contributed to several publications including Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context and articles in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law, Journal of Medicine and Ethics, the Texas Bar Journal and IBM developerWorks. Ms. Gilmer worked for the State of Texas, involved in the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions. She previously worked for several non-profit organizations including Disability Rights Texas, Texas Legal Services Center, and Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Erin is a panelist for the Display Your Passion Op-Ed/Blogging Breakout Session at Ms.JD's Passion Forward Conference on February 21, 2014 at 11 a.m.

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