On March 22, 2014, 40 physicians and friends of medicine attended a Seminar co-hosted by AMPAC and the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS). The Seminar was held as NCMS seeks to engage its members and North Carolina legislators on proposed reforms to Medicaid that will enhance physician input into new models for care delivery for the Tarheel State’s Medicaid population. Stephanie Vance of Advocacy Associates began the Seminar by providing attendees with concrete ways to build an effective consistent relationship with their elected officials at all levels—local, state and federal. As is often the case, the importance of individual physicians’ ability to relate health care policy to elected officials through stories and narrative emerged as a significant influence on policy makers. The ability to take a long term view towards legislative goals was also discussed. One dermatologist shared a story about a local state representative who fought for years against a ban on teenage access to tanning beds until finally relenting upon seeing the potential impact on patients.
Jim Wilson of AMPAC used a preview of the Campaign School to outline how political campaigns develop their messaging and vote targeting as part of an overall strategy. He also explained fundraising and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) techniques physicians can use to impact campaigns.
Overall, the Seminar was well-received by a very engaged audience. 83% of the evaluations received thus far rated the program as excellent and 17% related it as good. The Seminar with NCMS was the third of seven Seminars AMPAC will co-host in 2014.