What can I do to get engaged in state advocacy?
• Ask questions and stay informed.
• Join your Chapter and participate in their advocacy initiatives.
• Contact elected officials and donate to PACs.
• Testify on an issue at a committee hearing and encourage patients and colleagues to be advocates.
• Vote in ALL elections – federal, state, local and judicial.
Once engaged, can ACS Advocacy staff help me or my Chapter in our advocacy activities?
Yes, State Affairs staff is available to assist any chapter or individual surgeon in the following ways (or others as needed):
• Participate as speakers for any Chapter event or other stakeholder groups. Topics can range from specific issues to advocacy training workshops – a sample program outline, objectives, and a timetable are available.
• Assist with planning a Day at the Capital or prepare for a legislative visit.
• Work with you to advocate for or against legislation introduced into your state legislature.
• Address advocacy planning and strategy issues including the development of a Chapter Advocacy and Health Policy Committee.
• Help you with background information and research a legislative issue.
• Help develop testimony for presentation at state legislative committee hearings.
What other resources can ACS provide?
Surgery State Legislative Action Center (SSLAC): The SSLAC is a website that ACS hosts with over a dozen other surgical specialty societies. This simple, user-friendly, web-based advocacy tool is a convenient way for surgeons to engage in grassroots advocacy. The SSLAC is a public website and has a variety of functions.
• Letter-Writing Campaigns – Letters can be directed to elected officials, regulatory bodies, and media sources. The SSLAC requires the entry of a zip code which helps identify elected officials. Sample pre-written letters can be sent by e-mail to legislators directly from the action center. These letters are easy to modify to reflect a surgeon’s personal situation and how the proposed legislation may impact their patients.
• Election Information – By clicking the “election” tab, users can select their state and find out important election dates, register to vote, and find their polling place. Users may also find out who is running in their local races as well as get contact information for the candidates.
• General Information – The SSLAC can be used at any time to send letters to media outlets (with the Media Guide) or elected officials/agencies.
SurgeonsVoice Grassroots Advocacy: Grassroots advocacy on both the state and federal level is managed by the Health Policy Advisory Council, which is comprised of Region Chiefs and State Councilors. State Councilors are responsible for fostering an extensive grassroots advocacy network throughout their Chapter. These surgeon advocates have the opportunity to participate not only at the state level but also at the federal level, all through one webpage. Quarterly conference calls provide ample opportunity for State Councilors to interact with each other and share pertinent advocacy information. For more information contact Tara Leystra Ackerman at email@example.com.
Where can I find what state bills ACS is tracking?
Surgeons interested in staying abreast of the state legislation being monitored should check out the State Legislation page of the ACS website. From there, Fellows can learn about the status of legislation in their or other states. A map of the US allows users to click on an individual state to get an overview of pending legislation.
What’s on the web?
• ACS Advocacy Home Page
• State Legislative Homepage
• State Legislative Priorities
• State Advocacy Resources
• Statements of the College
• Chapter Lobby Day Grant Program
• Surgery State Legislative Action Center