With limited time to spend away from your practice, you can still have an impact on issues important to Advancing Rheumatology! Below are several ways to have your voice heard, without ever leaving town.
Set Up a Local Meeting with Your Elected Officials
Every member of Congress has at least one local office in the district, and most have several. These district offices are staffed with people whose jobs revolve around communicating with constituents like you. There are fewer barriers to stopping by the local office and developing relationships with the senator or representative’s staff. In fact, these staff members would welcome you! Elected officials depend on their staff to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the district and advise them on local issues.
Reach out to your local district office staff today to schedule a meeting during the August recess. Lawmakers’ schedules fill up quickly, and planning ahead is important. Visit Rheumatology to download the ACR’s easy Guide for Local Congressional Meetings.
Medical Office Tours & Visits
Another great way to meet and educate lawmakers is to invite them to visit your practice. Most members of Congress are not aware that rheumatologists receive years of additional training to provide expert care to patients with arthritis and rheumatic conditions. What better way to show your legislators about the specialized care you provide your patients than inviting them to visit your office?
Contact Elected Officials about Specific Issues
- Phone. Calling your members of Congress is one of the easiest ways to bring the issues of the rheumatology community to their attention. Use the AMA’s toll-free Grassroots Hotline at 800-833-6354.
- Email. Email is another quick, effective method to get your message to your elected officials. Use the ACR’s Legislative Action Center and make sure to personalize your message.
- Letters. Letters are an important and effective way to introduce yourself and tell your legislator your stance on multiple issues. Short, handwritten letters are best, and make sure to include your full address so they know you live in their district. Because mail to Congress may take time, you should fax the handwritten letter in addition to sending it via U.S.P.S. You can find contact information for your members of Congress.
- Social media. Most members of Congress are now on Facebook and Twitter, and monitor social media interactions very closely. Reach out to your member about an important issue by tagging them or posting on their sites. Be sure to also follow the ACR on Facebook and Twitter to see what’s trending and to repost messages.
ACR Issue Briefs & Background
Be sure to arrive at any meeting prepared to discuss specific issues and have concrete ways your representative can take action. To assist with this, review and share the ACR Issue Briefs, which can be found at Rheumatology. As always, contact ACR Government Affairs staff at 404-633-3777 or [email protected] with questions.