Affiliate Perspective: How Did You Participate in DOTH 2019?


Affiliate Perspective: How Did You Participate in DOTH 2019?

AACVPR Affiliate Societies are geographically located groups of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals who meet regularly to provide continuing education and networking opportunities. Click here to view Resources for Affiliates. If you would like to find an affiliate society in your area, click here to view the Affiliate Contact List.

News & Views spoke with various leaders from a handful of our Affiliate Societies to learn about their participation in this year's Day on the Hill (DOTH), an advocacy initiative in which more than 75 practitioners representing at least 35 states traveled to Washington, DC, to meet with their U.S. Senators and Representatives. We hope this piece can help you to learn how local groups around the country are advocating for progress in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

News & Views: How did you participate in DOTH 2019?


NYS has helped to sponsor representatives that have for years have participated in the DOTH. Dr. Murray Low has been an integral part in pushing for proper advocacy for these organizations. NYS also had Ana Mola representing both AACVPR and New York. NYS's work will begin when a bill requiring our members and all cardiac and pulmonary professionals to reach out to our congressman to support a normal reimbursement for all programs.


In Ohio, the OACVPR president, Katy Maag, attended and teamed up with a person from Scottcare, since they are located in Cleveland. They attended a Senator's office and four representatives' offices along with multiple follow-up emails. They also incorporated the presentation in their State Meeting April 8 and 9, and included information on how to contact offices and what their needs are.


For the first time, CSCR sponsored two people to participate in DOTH.  At the CSCR conference, they will be presenting some items on it and encouraging participation from the membership for next year.


Ashleigh Funk attended DOTH this year to represent Florida as FCVPR President. She had great meetings with staffers from the offices of Congressman Daniel Webster, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, Congresswoman Val Demings, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rick Scott. Karen Lui visited the office of Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy with Funk (both pictured in the photo to the right).


Karen Edwards, former NWCVPR President and current AACVPR Task Force Liaison Member for MAC J-F and Shelley McCabe, NWCVPR Immediate Past-President attended DOTH 2019, representing the Northwest Region. They visited all 10 Washington state representative offices, met with staffers from 5 Washington offices. They also visited both senator offices for WA, AK, OR and ID, meeting with a staffer from one Washington senator’s office. The meeting were well received and several staffers were knowledgeable about Section 603 and supportive of our efforts to improve access to Cardiopulmonary Rehab services.


Susan Flack and Deb Anderson attended DOTH from Iowa. The had good visit with two Senators and three members of Congress. Follow-up emails were sent to the offices in the following weeks. Susan presented highlights of the visit to our membership during the IACPR Annual Conference March 28-29.


The Southern Association DOTH delegation of Jennifer Murphy, Stacey Jones, Jeanne Carlson and Kathe Briggs visited 14 different legislative offices on Monday and Tuesday, March 3-4, 2019. The most successful visit was with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), who agreed to help write their bill. Their message was met with a positive response in the other 13 Alabama and Mississippi offices and willingness to review a bill once they have it.


The Southern Association DOTH delegation of Jennifer Murphy, Stacey Jones, Jeanne Carlson and Kathe Briggs


North Carolina was represented at AACVPR's DOTH. NCCRA Past President Betsy Young and Stacey Greenway met with staff from 12 Senate and House of Representative offices. This was their third year together attending DOTH. NCCRA received much support and positive feedback. Many were favorable to co-sponsorship once a bill was initiated. 


NCCRA Past President Betsy Young and Stacey Greenway met with staff from 12 Senate and House of Representative offices


TACVPR met with legislative staff from eight out of the 11 House of Representatives and the two senators. They did have a direct meetings with Congressman Fleischmann, 3rd District and Congressman John Rose, 6th District. All staff and congressman were interested enough to ask TACVPR to provide follow-up with them as the process of creating the bill and seeking lead sponsors continued. None of the staff or congressman made a commitment to so-sponsor. As a follow-up, TACVPR president Allan Lewis met with Senator Blackburn’s Medicare Legislative assistant, Dorothy Hildabrand, at their Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Facility in Chattanooga on April 16.


Vickie Horn, RN, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Senator Lamar Alexander, Debbie Baker, RN, President TACVPR, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, Senator Marsha Blackburn, Allan Lewis, MS, Past President TACVPR, CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga, TN


The Upper Plains Cardiopulmonary Rehab Association sponsors one to two delegates each year to attend DOTH. Marlys Fisher, past president, represented North Dakota and South Dakota for the fifth year and met with staff from each of the Senate and Representative offices. Congressman Kelly Armstrong and Senator John Hoeven showed great interest and said they would consider signing on to the bill once legislative language has been finalized. Karen Lui accompanied Fisher in the meeting with Senator John Thune’s legislative aid.  All staffers seemed to be aware of the importance of access to cardiac and pulmonary rehab services.


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