Why You Should Attend the March on Washington – In Your Own Words
August 9, 2017 01:25 PM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice will be holding its third March on Washington of the year on September 11-12 and it is a great opportunity for leading members of the home care and hospice community to advocate for our industry before members of Congress. Registration is open now!
Since our first March on Washington of 2017, we have scored numerous legislative and regulatory victories, demonstrating that these events produce results. (Go here to see a partial listing of those successes.) I could tell you why you should attend the upcoming March on Washington, but I will leave it to one of your own – Doris Visaya, Executive Director of the Home Care Association of Washington – to tell you why this event is so important.
Doris Visaya (right) and Board Chair Rob Krause (left), with Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6).
Each year, the Board President and the Executive Director of the Home Care Association of Washington, attend the March on Washington because it provides us with the opportunity to educate our federal representatives, share our concerns with them, and develop relationships that will pay off the short and long term. While much can be done with electronic and telephonic communication, the value of an in-person connection is undeniable and really helps get results. Once you have a personal relationship, the electronic communications are generally far more effective.
As an example, this year one of the priorities we discussed during our congressional visits was the Home Health Planning Improvement Act of 2017. This did not have a bill number when we met our representatives, but we told them we would notify them as soon as there was a bill number and we would ask for their support. As soon as the bill was introduced, we emailed our representatives and two of them signed on as co-sponsors within days!
I have attended several March on Washington events over the years, but the most recent event, which was hosted at the Frederick Douglass Museum, was my favorite. The museum was a great setting for learning and networking, as well as a very convenient base of operations for the March. NAHC provided preparatory sessions to equip us with the most up-to-date information and status on our priorities, as well as to provide the current temperature of the administration, Congress, and CMS! In addition, NAHC staff was present and handy before, during, and after the March to answer questions and help support our congressional visits. Hand-outs were readily available to supplement our information packets.
This year, there are three March on Washington events so if you missed an earlier event you may want to attend the one in September! It is a great opportunity to network with colleagues and work on relationship-building with congressional representatives.
— Doris Visaya, Executive Director of the Home Care Association of Washington
While NAHC staffers are constantly advocating to members of Congress for home care and hospice, nothing makes an impact like filling a congressional office with that Member’s own constituents, hard-working nurses, aides, and administrators who can speak personally about what our industry means to America’s elderly and disabled population.
The best way to build on this momentum for policies friendly to home care and hospice is to continue to do what works. The best advocates for home care and hospice are the hard-working people delivering those services to millions of Americans every day. Your Senators and Representatives care what you think and your message is powerful.
Another way to build support for home care and hospice is to invite your Senator or Representative to go on a home visit with you this year. Our goal is to get all 100 Senators on a home visit before the 2018 elections. (Here is more information on how you can do that. NAHC can help.)
We look forward to seeing you in our nation’s capital for the March on Washington in September!