Interested in advocacy but not sure how or whether you have time in your busy schedule? AGA has an array of options for how you can be active in advocacy. Some take as little as 5 minutes.
Letter writing. AGA uses GovPredict, an online advocacy platform that allows members to contact their member of Congress with just a few clicks. AGA develops messages on significant pieces of legislation, key efforts in Congress or on issues being advanced by federal agencies that have a great impact on gastroenterology. AGA’s ongoing letter writing campaigns can always be found on www.gastro.org/advocacy but be sure to keep an eye out for advocacy emails, AGA eDigest, and social media, so you do not miss your opportunity to take action on timely issues. AGA encourages its members to share letter writing campaigns with their colleagues, as well as posting them on social media.
Meetings with your member of Congress. In-person meetings are an excellent opportunity to share with your member of Congress, or their staff, how the issues that impact gastroenterology affect you, your patients, and your practice. AGA has a plethora of resources to help you set up a meeting with your member of Congress, including up-to-date issue briefs, tips and tricks for productive meetings, and webinars on how to host an on-site visit. AGA staff is always more than happy to help you arrange a meeting either in Washington, DC, or your home state. If you are interested in arranging a meeting with your member of Congress, please contact AGA Public Policy Coordinator, Jonathan Sollish, ator 240-482-3228.
AGA PAC. AGA PAC is a voluntary, nonpartisan political organization affiliated with and supported by AGA. The only political action committee supported by a national gastroenterology society, its mission is to give gastroenterologists a greater presence on Capitol Hill and a more effective voice in policy discussions. AGA PAC supports candidates who support our policy priorities, such as fair reimbursement, cutting regulatory red tape, supporting patient protections, and access to specialty care, and sustained federal funding of digestive disease research. If you are interested in learning more, contact AGA Government and Political Affairs Manager, Navneet Buttar, ator 240-482-3221.
Congressional Advocates Program. This grassroots program is aimed at establishing a stronger foundation for our current and future advocacy initiatives by creating state teams to work on advocacy on the local, state, and national levels. Participation can include a wide variety of activities, ranging from creating educational posts on social media to meeting with members of Congress. Members of the Congressional Advocates Program are mentored and receive advocacy training by AGA leadership and staff. Participating members receive an AGA Congressional Advocate Program Certificate, a Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) badge ribbon, policy badge on the AGA Community, and recognition on AGA’s website. Applications for the next cycle will be released in 2019.