A common theme in state-level advocacy involves the necessity of meeting with and getting to know lawmakers. At times, however, these meetings can be scheduled with little to no warning. When that happens, in addition to your state component society, always feel free to reach out to the ASA Department of State Affairs for materials. ASA has lots of resources that are developed to ensure a smooth and effective meeting.
Beyond the resources staff can provide, it is very important to be aware of those materials that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the Web. In 2013, ASA launched the When Seconds Count™ (WSC) educational endeavor to advocate for patient-centered, physician-led care and the best possible outcomes for all patients. As part of this endeavor, WSC has cataloged a number of useful advocacy resources all on one website at www.asahq.org/whensecondscount.aspx. Many of these resources can be extremely helpful for meeting with lawmakers and their staff.
The WSC website’s “Members,” “Policymakers” and “Stories” sections are key areas you should know about – members are strongly encouraged to use these materials. Within those sections, valuable background information is available on anesthesiology, patient safety and physician-led anesthesia. Importantly, there are also downloadable brochures that make excellent “leave behinds” for the elected official or staff with whom you are meeting. For your next meeting, you may also wish to bring an electronic tablet to highlight the “Policymakers” and “Stories” sections. The quality and messaging are exceptional and can prove useful in demonstrating this as the “go to” place for future answers to anesthesiology questions by lawmakers and their staff.
The “Policymakers” section was designed with lawmakers and their staff in mind. There, users will also find the following downloadable documents:
• Patient-Centered, Physician-Led Anesthesia Care brochure
• Education and Training Fact Sheet
• Cost Fact Sheet
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Physician and Patient Stories
Undoubtedly, lawmakers will be called upon to consider initiatives that impact patients’ anesthesia. As the anesthesia and sedation experts, it is critical that lawmakers know the best source for this type of information – the physician anesthesiologist in their community. Beyond living in a 24-hour news cycle, we also now live in a 24-hour advocacy cycle. There is always the possibility for a last-minute meeting with a lawmaker. When that happens, the WSC website is a great tool to facilitate a meaningful meeting – even if it takes place in an elevator with a tablet.
To learn more about the WSC educational endeavor, please feel free to reach out to ASA Public Relations Interim Director Theresa Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, the ASA Department of State Affairs is also excited to work with you on your state-level advocacy efforts. Jason Hansen email@example.com and Erin Philp firstname.lastname@example.org look forward to being your partners in advocacy.