2009 Update: Advocacy on AAN.com
February 10, 2009
by Lily Jung, MD, FAAN, Advocacy Editor, AAN.com
Regardless of your politics, there is hope that the cyanotic American healthcare system may get some CPR with the start of the 111th Congress and the beginning of a new Presidential term. As a result, there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in advocacy on behalf of neurologists and neurological patients.
The advocacy pages of AAN.com describe and promote the efforts of enthusiastic neurologists and talented staff of the Academy's Center for Health Policy. The material on the website reflects the activities of neurology advocates year-round.
Palatucci Fellows Leading the Charge
There is recognition that the momentum of the enlarging group of Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum graduates is propelling the concerns of neurologists to the forefront, both on the state and the national level. AAN.com has published accounts of this activity, including:
- Eugene May, MD, FAAN, related the successes of Washington State chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Insurance Advisory Committee.
- The stories of Enawgaw Mehari, MD and Tarakad Ramachandran, MD, FAAN describe the dedication of neurologists both here in the US as well as in their homelands.
- Anthony Alessi, MD, FAAN learned about how soccer in Haiti is used to educate young women about responsible sexuality and the value of education while he was on a medical mission there.
- Daniel C. Potts, MD, shared the touching story of his father's battle with Alzheimer's disease and the healing value of art therapy, helping to bring home the human face of advocacy.
- The repository of the action plans of Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum graduates on this site is a well-kept secret. The experiences of more than 200 advocates and the lessons learned are a significant resource for neurologist advocates.
On the Hill
The AAN Professional Association’s federal legislative activities are also in the spotlight on AAN.com.
- Our legislative counsel in DC, Mike Amery, writes a blog, Capitol Hill Report, to discuss the potential impact of the new Congress on the field of neurology and on the way that doors are being opened by BrainPAC.
- The newly formed Health Reform Task Force, chaired by Bruce Sigsbee, MD, FAAN, created an educational piece for policymakers on the Hill titled "The Critical Role of Neurologists in Our Health Care System." This Task Force will be developing reform principles that will drive the Academy's efforts on Capitol Hill. This will be described in upcoming columns.
- Reports from Neurology on the Hill March 23–24 as neurologists converge on the Capitol to advocate for issues important to the profession
- More stories about disease-specific advocacy efforts both on the state and local level
- Reports on the principles identified by the Health Reform Task Force
- And much more . . . .
So stay tuned to an exciting and hopeful time for advocacy in neurology!
Lily Jung, MD, FAAN
Advocacy Editor, AAN.com