Lauren Lattany is the Director Of Government Relations at the American Medical Group Association (AMGA). This organization brings important issues from medical professionals to the attention of policymakers. AMGA also encourages advocates to use their voices to push for change.
Although Lauren loves her work, she never thought she’d be a lobbyist.
“I wanted to be a marine biologist growing up,” Lauren says. But a high school trip to Washington DC set her on her current career path. After walking the halls of Congress during a National State Leadership Conference she realized she wanted to work there one day.
She attended Grad School in Washington DC and worked on Capitol Hill for eight years, ultimately serving as a Legislative Director for a member of Congress.
“Working on the Hill felt like a logical step for me because that’s where the laws get made. That’s how things get impacted and changed,” she explains.
In her role as Legislative Director, Lauren combined her passion for policy with another of her interests – health care.
“I love health care issues,” she shared. Her interest in health care started when she watched her cousin with asthma navigate the challenges of Medicaid. One year her cousin lost their health insurance due to the state running out of funds. That was eye-opening to Lauren.
She goes on to say that growing up she never had to worry about health insurance since it was provided by her dad’s company. “Going to the doctor was not something that I had to think about.” Once her cousin lost insurance, health care policy became a personal issue that really motivated Lauren and ultimately led her to her current work.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
After eight years on The Hill, Lauren was ready for a shift. She worked on the grassroots side for a few years before starting her new role as a lobbyist with AMGA.
In her current position, she helps advocates “own their power” and use their voices to push for change. But she also uses her own voice to bring advocates’ issues to the attention of policymakers.
She’s learned a lot about herself through this role.
“It has taught me to trust myself and trust my instincts, because people are relying on your expertise and your previous knowledge in order to navigate issues so you have to learn how to trust yourself on that,” she explains.
Throughout her career, she’s faced imposter syndrome. “It’s something we all go through,” she points out. She adds that being the only person of color in a room can add to her self-awareness and imposter syndrome.
But she continues to remind herself that “I have something to contribute here. My experience and my knowledge are different than everybody else’s. And that’s great.”
As she’s worked through her imposter syndrome, she shares what she’s learned with the mentees she works with.
“Be gentle with yourself. I think as women, we’ve been taught we can be anything. And that’s beautiful. But there’s also a lot of stress that comes with that.” She adds that this stress can lead women to think everything they do has to be perfect. “We’re flawed human beings, we’re gonna make mistakes, we’re gonna need criticism. Make space for that, but also make space for joy.”
Her Advice? Know Your Values
In order to own your power and leave room for joy, Lauren says it’s important to be intentional and focus on your values.
Before making any career or personal moves, she checks if they align with her values.
“And that way as you’re going through this life, whether it’s working or dating or friendships, I think to myself, does this align with my values? Check-in with yourself and ask whether it’s something that you really want.”
When Lauren left her job on The Hill, she realized she’d been chasing titles but hadn’t really given herself space to make a life outside of work. After writing down her values, she’s spent more time building meaningful connections.
“Find your people,” she advises. “You have to have people who are aligned with your values that you know can show up for you and create safety for you.”