Academy Grassroots Efforts on Health Reform Break New Ground

December 28, 2009

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With so many issues important to the future neurology addressed on Capitol Hill in 2009—including NIH funding, the replacement of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), and including neurology to the list of specialties eligible for primary care bonuses —Vocus usage this year was at an all time high.

Nearly 3,000 Academy members took the initiative within the past 12 months to contact their members of Congress using Vocus. Over the past year, more than 17,400 messages were sent to Capitol Hill on behalf of neurology. By comparison, in 2008 about 6,700 messages were sent by approximately 1,500 members. The Academy thanks everyone who either responded to an Academy Grassroots Network action alert, or took their own initiative to send a message to their congressional representatives or their local representatives.

Vocus is a benefit the Academy provides to its US members that allows them to easily contact their representatives in Washington, DC. Members can log in to Vocus simply by using their AAN ID number and password. Once logged in, members can select the topic they would like to address. This will take them to a pre-written letter where they can either make their own adjustments, or just click send—it's as easy as three clicks!

While 2009 shattered all previous records, neurology still needs even more participation from Academy members in 2010.Please continue to encourage your colleagues to respond to action alerts from the Academy Grassroots Network.

Also notable this year was that six patient groups have stepped up their efforts to help neurology's health care reform initiatives. The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson's Action Network, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, ALS Association, Brain Injury Association of America, and American Brain Coalition all recently sent out action alerts to their members asking them to contact Congress in support of the Klobuchar Neurology Amendment. The Academy is grateful for their efforts and hopes to continue working with each of them as we move forward in 2010.

For more information, contact Tim Miller at tmiller@aan.com.