Barnesville Hospital, Barnesville, OH

Hospital leaders like David Phillips, administrator and CEO of Barnesville Hospital, know it is important talk to their legislators about their organizations' financial challenges. With Congress pressed to address the nation's serious fiscal problems following the November elections, there is no better time to help convince lawmakers to reject further Medicare and Medicaid payment cuts to hospital services.

Putting the AHA's "We Care, We Vote" initiative into action, Phillips recently met with Rep. Bill Johnson, R-OH, at his southeast Ohio critical access hospital (CAH). He explained to the congressman that more funding cuts for hospital services will exacerbate his
and other CAHs' financial problems and could limit Medicare and Medicaid patients' access to care.

“Any cuts to the critical access hospital program are concerning
to us, and we want to make sure our message is heard about what we provide to the community - not only in terms of patient care, but also in economic impact," says Phillips, who used resources from the "We Care, We Vote" toolkit   to prepare for the meeting.

AHA launched We Care, We Vote in June as  a nationwide effort to get hospital executives, medical staff, employees and board members to express their concerns about cutting hospitals' Medicare and Medicaid payments, and to ask questions about where congressional candidates stand on these and other health care issues. The initiative includes materials for hospital leaders to help make their employees, trustees, medical staff, volunteers and others more aware of the challenges facing the hospital and health system field and what's at stake in the coming federal budget debate. There also is a toolkit hospital leaders can use to help their employees register to vote.

For more on how your organization can get involved, click here.

For more information about the “We Care, We Vote” initiative, or for help planning any of these activities, please contact AHA Member Relations at 1 (800) 424-4301 or


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