2010 Update: Advocacy on AAN.com

March 11, 2010


By Glen R. Finney, MD, AAN.com Advocacy Editor

With health care reform a national priority, 2009 was an important year for Academy advocacy—and AAN.com's Advocacy section was there to keep members up to date through every twist and turn.

Capitol Hill Report Informs Membership

At the beginning of the year, we introduced a new advocacy blog—the Capitol Hill Report—with regular ¬†updates from the Academy's legislative counsel in Washington, DC, Mike Amery, Esq. A popular feature in the AAN.com Blogs and News area, the Capitol Hill Report offers a behind-the scenes look at the legislative process and how the Academy works to ensure that the issues important to neurology are heard in Congress.

Neurologists Advocate on Capitol Hill

At Neurology on the Hill in March of 2009, the Academy brought together more than 100 members to educate Congress on the critical role of neurologists in our health care system and our dedication to quality care. They visited the offices of 154 senators and representatives and presented a united front as they focused on the need to replace the broken SGR formula and recognize the principle care provided by neurologists in reform of Medicare reimbursement.

Academy Leadership Testifies To Congress

In April, AAN.com covered Academy President Elect Bruce Sigsbee, MD, FAAN, who gave landmark testimony on the vital role of the neurologist in health care before one of the major Congressional committees considering health care reform. Read Sigsbee's statement to the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, presented April 2, 2009.

Academy Advocacy Around The Globe

International neurology advocacy took center stage in the summer with stories about improving stroke care in Sri Lanka and providing epilepsy care by rail to rural India. These stories reflect the Academy's interest in promoting solutions to health care problems worldwide through its Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum, which trained new advocates from India, Jamaica, Nigeria. and Pakistan in 2009.

Get to Know Your Advocate Colleagues

Advocacy introduced a new Q&A series, "Profiles in Advocacy," starting with 2009 AAN Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum Advocate of the Year, Daniel Potts, MD, and headache advocate Teshamae Monteith, MD.

Health Care Reform

Throughout the fall, the Capitol Hill Report and Academy News kept members informed of Academy efforts to include relief for neurology in health care reform. Neurology was included in legislation as a principal care participant for Medical Home demonstration projects. Specific amendments were offered by Congress to include neurology in the proposed primary care bonus.

Advocacy Editorial Board 2009

The AAN.com Advocacy team grew in the latter half of 2009 with the creation of a new Advocacy Editorial Board, drawn from a cross-section of neurology advocates:

  • Thomas Vidic, MD, a private practice neurologist at the Elkhart Clinic, Indiana
  • Anil K. Nair, MD, an academic geriatric neurologist at Boston University / Quincy Medical Center, Massachusetts
  • John R. Absher, MD, FAAN, a private practice neurologist at Absher Neurology, PA, South Carolina
  • Jill Giordano, DO, MPH, a neurologist in training at Georgetown Neurology Residency Program, Washington, DC
  • Eugene F. May, MD, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Neuro-ophthalmic Consultants Northwest, Washington

Top Advocacy Articles

The top 10 Advocacy articles published in 2009 received a total of nearly 127,000 readers. Take a moment to revisit these stories, and note the wide range of information and calls to action represented in these and all of our Advocacy publications.

Capitol Hill Report: What the AAN Is Doing For You Why Isn't 'Alice' in 'Wonderland,' and Can We Help Her Find It?
New Guidelines Identify Best Treatments to Help ALS Patients Live Longer, Easier Advocates Visit Capitol Hill to Encourage Greater NIH-funded Research
Epilepsy Care by Rail Appreciate the Challenges, Advocate for What's Important
Improving Stroke Care in Sri Lanka State Legislative Updates: AEDs and EMG
Read New Approved Position Statement on Health Information Technology 2009 Update: Advocacy on AAN.com

Review all of the 2009 Advocacy articles.

Kicking Off 2010 with The Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum

Going into the New Year, Advocacy Editor Glen R. Finney, MD, provided daily coverage of the 2010 Donald M. Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum. Both 2010 AAN Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum Co-Advocates of the Year, Mamta B. Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, and Teshamae Monteith, MD, were featured in AAN.com Advocacy section articles in 2009.

The Future

The advocacy challenges of 2010 look to be as great as those of 2009, and the Advocacy section of AAN.com—with a newly designed website and future development of online neurologist communities—will continue to be the premier source for Academy advocacy news.

Author Disclosure

Within the past five years, Dr. Finney has received research support from Novartis for his work as site principal investigator for a study of the Exelon patch in Alzheimer's disease participants.