On October 12th, 50 physicians and medical students attended a Regional Campaign and Grassroots Seminar in Denver, CO co-hosted by the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) and AMPAC. AMA Immediate Past President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, himself a Denver resident, began the program with an update on AMA activities including proposals for Medicare payment reform. Stephanie Vance of Advocacy Associates provided attendees with techniques to develop more effective and productive relationships with legislators at the state and federal level.
Vidya Kora, MD of the AMPAC Board of Directors gave an update on AMPAC activity going into the 2014 elections and Terri Folk of AMA staff demonstrated the grassroots resources available to physicians who want to influence Congress’ actions on health care policy: the Very Influential Physician (VIP) Network, the Physicians’ Grassroots Network (PGN) and the Patients’ Action Network (PAN).
A special guest for the luncheon was State Senator Irene Aguilar, MD of Denver, who reviewed Colorado’s progress in implementing the Affordable Care Act. She also discussed the Federal waiver the state secured to redesign the state’s Medicaid system to increase access, quality and efficiency. Senator Aguilar also predicted continued stability for Colorado’s medical liability climate. Jim Wilson of AMA staff concluded the Seminar by outlining specific ways physicians can get involved in political campaigns, as well as and the critical factors that physicians must account for when and if they decide to seek office themselves.
The AMPAC Regional Campaign and Grassroots Seminars are designed to provide training in political campaigns and grassroots lobbying, so that physicians and friends of medicine can help advance medicine’s agenda at all levels of government. AMPAC arranges for faculty and materials, and asks that a state medical society provide meeting space, meals and invite attendees. The Kentucky Medical Association and the Nevada State Medical Association will co-host Seminars in 2014. If your state society would like more information on co-hosting a Regional Seminar, please contact Jim Wilson, Political Education Programs Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks for CMS staff for all their hard work to create a great event!