For the first time since February 2019, the ACEP community came back together for an in-person meeting. The annual Leadership & Advocacy Conference (LAC) was held July 25–28 in Washington, D.C. With extra precautions because of the specter of the Delta variant of COVID-19, 324 ACEP members from 44 states met to get the latest updates on federal and state issues, hear from members of Congress and key congressional staffers, and participate in 273 virtual Capitol Hill visits. Given the realities and challenges of holding the meeting, it was most definitely a remarkable success. Perhaps most important, the members who attended were able to personally reconnect with friends and colleagues within the ACEP family. Being together and providing one another with validation of the importance of the hard work we do was an incredibly powerful experience.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 40 – No 09 – September 2021
Before I share more about the substance of the conference, I want to recognize the ACEP D.C. and educational meetings teams for making the conference a reality. The rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation required unique and careful planning; the conference was held with special precautions to maximize the safety of all participants.
The first day of the educational program covered many topics, including opportunities for the future of telemedicine in emergency medicine practice, the perceptions and use of social media on Capitol Hill, and an interactive session on the EM workforce issue with leaders from ACEP, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. And once again, props to the ACEP Young Physicians Section and EMRA for hosting their annual pre-conference Health Policy Primer educational program.
Connecting with Congress
As with every LAC, the College developed a set of “asks” and talking points for the Capitol Hill visits. Identifying the “right” issues to focus on during the meeting requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to increase our likelihood of advocacy success. That strategy is based upon identifying issues that both are important for emergency medicine and will resonate on Capitol Hill given the political climate and priorities of the current Congress and the President’s administration. Our goal, as always, is to remind legislators that we do the work of the people every day and that we need their support to be able to continue that work. With a heavy overtone of the worsening situation created by the Delta COVID-19 variant, our issues and topics this year were: