Part I: ACR 2017 Advocacy Essentials and Capitol Hill Day; What You Need to Know
A crucial component to the yearly ACR meeting is advocacy, including the Capitol Hill Day visits. This year, exciting new elements will be unveiled in addition to the traditional programming which has been so effective in our profession’s advocacy efforts.
The Radiology Advocacy Network (RAN) will be promoting the launch of a new and revitalized social media campaign during all advocacy related sessions. We encourage you to join the Radiology Advocacy Network group on Facebook and follow the @ACRRAN account on Twitter. For advocacy at your fingertips, please download the RAN app on iTunes or at the Google Play store.
Additionally, the RAN has officially launched a community on the ACR Engage Platform. We encourage you to contribute to the discussion as well as post any regulatory or legislative content you find of interest so that we may keep the discussion and momentum going all-year round.
Saturday, May 20th will include the RADPAC (our profession’s bipartisan Radiology Political Action Committee that supports federal Members of Congress only) presentation at the RFS Meeting specifically tailored to trainees to discuss the integral role they play in defining our profession’s future.
Sunday, May 21st kicks off with the bonafide “Advocacy 101” and “RAN Starter Kit” sessions which will include an overview of the key legislative and regulatory issues that are currently affecting radiology, tips for radiologists participating in ACR’s annual Capitol Hill Lobby Day for the first time, refreshers on how a bill becomes a law, and an update on the RAN. These informative sessions will be given by our RAN leaders and exemplary ACR Governmental Relations team.
Additionally, an innovative presentation will take place that morning (as a part of the Advocacy 101 session) called, “A Day in the Life of a Lobbyist and Congressional Staffer.” The presentation will showcase our fellow member Stephen L. Ferrara, MD, a U.S. Navy Veteran and interventional radiologist who will be sharing his remarkable story regarding his past experience as a congressional staffer and his ongoing journey in other areas of public service.
Tuesday, May 22nd will include an afternoon Capitol Hill Day briefing including elaboration on the talking points we will be lobbying on the Hill. The talking points will be finalized closer to ACR 2017. All ACR members who are visiting their senators and representatives on Capitol Hill later in the week should attend this session in order to understand the key messages we’ll be delivering to Congress. The RADPAC Reception will also be held Tuesday evening with the annual VIP Thank You Dinner following.
Wednesday, May 24th is the annual ACR Capitol Hill Day. As mentioned previously, attending the “First Time Hill Prep” session on Sunday, May 21st will be crucial in preparing you for your Hill Day visit if you have never previously met with a Member of Congress.
Additionally, each state radiological society has a point person to contact if one is interested in joining their state and meeting their federal elected officials. For those unable to attend Hill Day, there will also be a “Virtual Capitol Hill Day” where ACR Members will still be able to have a voice and engage their congressmen/women. This will be comprised of ACR Members sending emails, tweet, and/or post Facebook messages to their members of Congress. Sample tweets and messaging will be provided for ACR Members ahead of the meeting via the ACR RAN app which can be downloaded on your smartphone. Messaging such as “Thank you for supporting annual mammography screening at 40!” would be appropriate. Messaging encouraging voting for a particular piece of legislation is strongly discouraged. Be sure to tag the @ACRRAN twitter handle as well as include #ACRHillDay2017 or #ACR2017 on all tweets.
We also encourage you to tweet and post on facebook through the ACR RAN app — you can link your personal social media accounts to it. The RAN app includes information regarding talking points for Capitol Hill Day, a directory of your elected officials, quick access to respond to calls to action if in the event you need to contact your congressmen/women regarding timely radiology legislation, and ways to support RADPAC.
Last but not least, the RADPAC all-member session will take place on Thursday, May 25th, where an overview of our successes for 2016 and the start of 2017 will be explored and discussed.
Access the full schedule of advocacy related sessions at ACR 2017.
Find out more information on ACR 2017 Capitol Hill Day.
Check out further information on ACR 2017 RADPAC events, including the reception and gala.
Learn more about the Radiology Advocacy Network.
We hope you participate in our robust advocacy efforts at ACR 2017, whether in person and/or in a digital context as we strive to make this our best year yet! Now, more than ever, it is imperative to come together to ensure our voices are heard as we tirelessly strive to strengthen the success of our profession.
By Amy K. Patel, MD
Breast Radiology Fellow at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology & RADPAC Trainee Board Member