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Public Policy & Advocacy

Save the Date: 

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


Action Alert

Dear MA ACP members,

Last Tuesday, December 3, 2019 was the hearing for An Act Relative to Vaccines and Public Health (H.3999), which removes the religious vaccination exemption for children entering schools in Massachusetts and it maintains medical exemptions. It was a very lengthy hearing so we were unable to testify in person, however, our Chapter has submitted written testimony in support of this bill.

The hearing involved hours of testimony from physicians, community organizations, and individuals both in support and opposition to the bill. There was an overwhelming presence of families that are against the state requiring that their children be vaccinated and they spoke of the emotional and financial toll of taking care of their children whom they felt were harmed by vaccines. They argued that MA vaccination rates are some of the highest in the country and urged to leave non-medical vaccine exemptions in place.

As internists, we believe we can demonstrate to our legislators why it is critical that all eligible people are vaccinated universally. Moreover, we can illustrate to them the personal toll infectious diseases have on our patients, communities, and health care system.

We ask that you contact the Joint Committee on Public Health to pass this bill today. The Committee is currently gathering testimony and information to make their decision in the coming weeks so your outreach must be timely. To make this as easy as possible, we have provided email and phone call templates below you can adapt. Phone calls can be more effective than emails but any outreach to these legislators is helpful. We strongly encourage you to include a patient story to emphasize the personal impact this bill will have on your patients as this can be very influential to legislators.

H.3999, An Act relative to vaccinations and public health

If you want more information about this or have any questions, please email Zoe Tseng at zoe.tseng@gmail.com.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of all of our patients in Massachusetts.

Sincerely,

Zoe Tseng, MD, FACP
Aisha James MD
Co-Chairs, Massachusetts ACP Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee

Elisa Choi, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Governor, Massachusetts ACP Chapter

Please contact all the members of the Joint Committee on Public Health, in particular the Chairs. https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J16


 

Dear MA ACP members,

There are 2 upcoming bill hearings at the State House on issues the MA ACP Health and Public Policy Committee (HPPC) feel are very important to our members.

1) We support universal vaccination of our patients by advocating for An Act Relative to Vaccines and Public Health (H.3999), which removes the religious vaccination exemption for children entering schools in Massachusetts and it maintains medical exemptions.

2) We support our immigrant patients by advocating for An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of All Massachusetts Residents (S.1401/H.3573 Safe Communities Act), which would prevent local law enforcement from asking about a person's immigration status unless it is required by law.

Further information about these bills can be found in the pdfs BELOW. We ask that you contact your legislators about these bills today. To make this as easy as possible, we have provided email and phone call templates on the website for each bill that you can adapt. Phone calls can be more effective than emails but any outreach to your legislator is helpful. We encourage you to include a patient story to emphasize the personal impact this bill will have on your patients.

The hearings for these bills will take place on Monday and Tuesday, December 2-3, 2019 so it is crucial that you contact your legislator today. We also encourage members to testify as individuals at the hearing for these bills. If you want more information about this or have any questions, please email Zoe Tseng at zoe.tseng@gmail.com.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of all of our patients in Massachusetts.

Sincerely,

Zoe Tseng, MD, FACP
Aisha James MD
Co-Chairs, Massachusetts ACP Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee

Shela Sridhar, MD
Chair, Immigrant and Refugee Health Subcommittee of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee

Elisa Choi, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Governor, Massachusetts ACP Chapter

An Act Relative to Vaccines and Public Health (H.3999)
     Fact Sheet – An Act Relative to Vaccines and Public Health (H.3999)
     Email and Phone Script Templates
An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of All Massachusetts Residents (S.1401/H.3573 Safe Communities Act) 
     
Email and phone Script Templates


 

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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