Highlights of this year’s lectures included a very informative and entertaining opening presentation titled “The Gift of Leadership” by Mark Levin, BAI, Inc. president, and a luncheon talk by Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, who is the deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dr. Conway highlighted the challenges and opportunities of creating new paradigms for the delivery and financing of health care as our population grows and ages.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 33 – No 07 – July 2014
In addition to the educational programs, there are great social events including opportunities to network with emergency physician leaders from throughout the country at the Opening Reception and the Congressional Reception. This year, ACEP’s National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC), had a reception for VIP donors at the United States Botanic Garden just outside the Capitol. NEMPAC and the Emergency Medicine Physicians Political Action Committee (EMP PAC) cohosted fund-raisers for two emergency physicians in Congress, Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA).
The high point of the conference is the visit to Capitol Hill. The opportunity to have your voice heard by your elected officials is one of the most exciting things an emergency physician can ever experience, especially for the first-timers. Physicians are grouped by state and by district. The afternoon is spent in a small group with colleagues from your state, traveling from office to office to meet with the US representative from your home district and with your US senators.
During the Capitol Hill visits, you meet with staffers and, in most cases, the members of Congress themselves. In a congressional office, staffers work closely with the elected official and do a great deal of the grunt work in developing and reviewing the myriad health care–related bills introduced each year. During a congressional office visit, you have roughly 30 minutes to discuss what bills you deem most important and why you would like your member of Congress to support them. As a physician, constituent, and American citizen, this may be the most important meeting you can have. This is more important than voting because you actually talk to the people who can effect change.