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Public Policy & Advocacy

Save the Date: 

2020 Advocacy Day at the State House - Tuesday, March 17th 


Action Alert

Dear ACP members,

The Health and Public Policy Committee (HPPC) has been working to support our immigrant patients as advocates of the Safe Communities Act (SCA) Sponsored by Senator James Eldridge and Representatives Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda. This bill would prevent local law enforcement from asking about a person's immigration status unless it is required by law. It would also ensure that any person detained understands their rights and has an attorney available to them. It would not interfere with the work of Immigrant & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Protecting this sense of safety in our immigrant and refugee communities is crucial to the overall health and safety of our community, and thus our patients.

SCA has a lot of support, but there remain some legislators who have not co-sponsored the bill or who may be opposed. We ask each of you to reach out to your legislators, however, advocacy from constituents of legislators who have not yet indicated support for this bill will be particularly important. The co-sponsorship list is here. To find the contact information for your legislator, please search here.

To make this as easy as possible, we have provided email and phone call templates below that you can adapt. We encourage you to include a patient story to emphasize the personal impact this bill will have on our patients and communities.

Please contact Shela Sridhar at ssridhar2@bwh.harvard.edu if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Shela Sridhar, MD
Chair, Immigrant Health Subcommittee of the MA Chapter of the Health and Public Policy Committee

 

Email Template:
Dear [insert Senator or Representative] [insert name],

I am an internal medicine physician practicing in [insert town] and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Our chapter represents 4,100 physicians across Massachusetts and we are the largest medical specialty organization with 154,000 members worldwide.

The impact of immigrant safety cannot be understated as Massachusetts has over 700,000 immigrants living in the state. Concerns for safety and illegal detentions have been increasing among my patients, many of whom are immigrants and/or refugees in the community. This is why we ask [insert your senator or rep name] co-sponsor the Safe Communities Act (S. 1401/H. 3573) sponsored by Senator James Eldridge and Reps. Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda.

[Insert patient story. For example: A patient who wasn't able to be seen or obtain care due to ICE/police detention.]

We believe now is the time for the State legislature to take a strong position to support the role which immigrants play in our communities by co-sponsoring the Safe Communities Act. This bill would ensure that immigrant communities are able to attend their medical appointments and receive care without fear of criminal persecution due solely to their immigration status. This is a crucial step in maintaining the public health and safety of Massachusetts.

In summary, I would like to thank you for your commitment to ensuring all our patients in Massachusetts have access to health care. I urge you to continue our progress and co-sponsor the Safe Communities Act (S. 1401/H. 3573). I have attached additional information, however, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]
Address
Telephone number

Phone script:
Hello,

I am an internal medicine physician practicing in [insert town] and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Our chapter represents 4,100 physicians across Massachusetts.

I am calling to ask [Insert Senator or Rep with name] to support the Safe Communities Act (S. 1401/H. 3573). The impact of immigrant safety cannot be understated as Massachusetts has over 700,000 immigrants living in the state. Concerns for safety and illegal detentions have been increasing among my patients, many of whom are immigrants and/or refugees in the community.

We believe now is the time for the [Insert House or Senate] to take a strong position to support the role which immigrants play in our communities by supporting the Safe Communities Act. This bill would ensure that immigrant communities are able to come to their medical appointments and receive care without fear of criminal persecution due solely to their immigration status. This is a crucial step in maintaining the public health and safety of Massachusetts.

In summary, I would like to thank the [insert Senator or Representative] for their commitment to insuring all our patients in Massachusetts have access to health care. I urge you to continue our progress and co-sponsor the Safe Communities Act (S. 1401/H. 3573).

Safe Communities Act

 


MISSION:

Our mission is to advocate for policy that improves the quality and effectiveness of health care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and that promotes the practice of medicine.

The committee has 25-30 members that meet at least quarterly to discuss policy issues and advocate for them through various efforts including speaking with legislators and providing education to Chapter members, policy makers, and the general public.

We currently have five subcommittees: Advocacy Day at the State House, Advocacy Education, Immigrant and Refugee Health, Opioid Use Disorder, and Prescription Drug Costs.

  • Advocacy Day - This subcommittee is responsible for organizing Advocacy Day at the State House, including selecting legislation and speakers. They also organize the meetings between participating members and their state legislators to discuss important legislation.
  • Advocacy Education - This subcommittee is dedicated to bringing training in various advocacy skills to chapter members. Our goal is for members to feel well-equipped to tackle issues affecting their patients and practice through various forms of advocacy.
  • Immigrant & Refugee Health - This subcommittee is focused on improving the healthcare of our immigrant and refugee patients through education and advocacy.
  • Opioid Use Disorder - This subcommittee is focused on addressing the opioid epidemic by increasing access to care through education and advocacy.
  • Prescription Drug Cost - This subcommittee is focused on addressing rising prescription drug costs and its impact on patient care through advocacy.

HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prescription Drug Pricing subcommittee has been working closely with Senator Montigny to advocate for prescription drug price transparency legislation at the State House. They provided testimony at the State House in July 2017 on the impact of rising prescription drug costs on patients and published an op-ed on KevinMD.com in November 2017 advocating for the State Senate to support stronger provisions in legislation on prescription drug costs.

The opioid use disorder committee organized a CME program on May 8, 2018 “You Can Do It: Buprenorphine Prescribing in Primary Care,” which presented multiple viewpoints on prescribing buprenorphine in primary care and different models of care that can make it successful and rewarding.

 


    Advocacy Resources

    Learn more about ACP’s advocacy work including stances on key health policy issues. 

    Get involved! Join the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) or attend the annual Leadership Day in Washington, D.C.

    Stay informed:

    Hear Dr. Dan Levy's interview with his local NPR station and read our chapter's Ten Priorities for Payment and Practice Reform with a Focus on Primary Care: A Policy Statement.

    Massachusetts Contacts


     




       

      Leadership Day on Capitol Hill

      The 27th annual Leadership Day on Capitol Hill was held on May 14 - 15, 2019 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC.  This two-day advocacy event is a great opportunity for the College and our members to increase our presence and bring visibility to issues of concern to Congress.  As usual, there were training sessions and briefings by congressional staff and key government officials.  Attendees also received a comprehensive orientation on ACP’s top legislative priorities.  A special briefing for Residents/Fellows-in-training and medical students was also provided.  Visits to Capitol Hill will take place on the second day. 

      Save the Date - Leadership Day 2020
      May 12 - 13, 2020

      This event is open to ACP members only.  ACP members interested in participating in Leadership Day 2019 should contact their chapter Governor to let him/her know of your interest and to be included in the chapter delegation congressional meetings.  

      For more information on Leadership Day or to access reference materials from Leadership Day 2019, go to: https://www.acpservices.org/leadership-day/what-leadership-day.  If you have further questions, please contact Shuan Tomlinson via email or at 800-338-2746, ext. 4547.


      Advocacy Resources

      Where the College Stands on key health policy issues, news and recent policy changes.

      Visit Legislative Action Center for more information about the new Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) and the Richard Neubauer Advocate for Internal Medicine Award.

      State Health Policy Pages

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