How do we identify potential consumer partners?

Look for core characteristics.

A consumer advocate is an individual who works at a nonprofit, mission-driven organization that represents consumers or patients. Look everywhere—from disease-specific organizations to the local YWCA or a neighborhood association—for potential advocates who will help your Alliance move toward its goal. 
Research Local Groups. Determine which consumer groups may be a good fit. What makes them tick? Learn their major policy issues, challenges, number of staff, and the environment in which they operate. Gauge their level of knowledge about health care, their reach into the community, and their communication capabilities. This research will help you frame how your Alliance work relates to their needs and concerns. 
Find the Right Person. Once you’ve found a potential group, it’s time to find the right people. While you want someone who is a natural advocate and comfortable speaking up, be wary of habitual naysayers. 
Look for these core competencies:
Experience advocating the patient viewpoint;
Background in health care or understanding of the health care system;
Communication and storytelling skills;
Experience serving on multi-stakeholder groups; and
Baseline knowledge of the technical components of health care quality.
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