The AHA Annual Membership Meeting kicks off May 6 in Washington, D.C., where members will have the opportunity to hear from leaders in politics, media and health policy; share strategies on our collective work to redefine the “H”; and meet with their federal representatives to discuss how decisions made in the halls of Capitol Hill impact patients and patient care back home.
 
With the mid-term elections just around the corner and a long-term budget deal (which addressed many critical hospital and health system priorities) in the rearview mirror, Congress should be open to engaging on longer-term policy development in a number of areas. 
 
That makes our message during the Annual Meeting somewhat different … but no less critical.
 
This year presents an important opportunity to educate your legislators on the changes taking place in the health care field. They need to hear from you on how your organization is innovating to create greater value and improve affordability, including forming new models and partnerships to deliver care. For example, this also is a great time to share how you are providing benefits to your communities far beyond patient care as you address the social determinants of health and your community’s unique needs.
 
The one area where Congress is poised to take action is addressing the opioid epidemic, with a goal of passing legislation by early summer. We have been working with the committees of jurisdiction to share our views. The timing of this year’s meeting presents an opportunity for you to add your voice and tell the story of how you are working on the front lines of the crisis to restore health and heal fractured lives and families. You can help put a face on the epidemic and drive home the very real challenges you confront as you provide treatment and education.
 
We hope you will join us May 6-9 in Washington, D.C., to lend your voice.