NSRC members Nan Nathenson, Linda Nelson and Jane Matsui joined their colleagues from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) for the AARC 2012 Hill Advocacy Day on March 6.
A total of 135 respiratory therapists from 46 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 32 patient advocates, participated in the event. Five patient organizations also joined them: Alpha 1 Association, EFFORTS, COPD Foundation, Alpha 1 Foundation and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
Participants scheduled 349 meetings with their Congressional representatives -- the most ever in the 13 years PACT has done for DC Hill Day. They gained 11 new House co-sponsors for HR 941, the Medicare Respiratory Therapy Initiative. This would permit RRTs with a bachelor's degree to work in physician practices without the physician being on site.
- AARC also sponsored a Virtual Lobby Week for the event. Highlights of the week include:
- Created specific Web page for VL Week.
- Linked to our Capitol Connection to send emails.
- Requested emails be sent to Hill prior to PACT Lobby Day.
- More than 12,000 messages sent.
- Template letters for RTs, caregivers of pulmonary patients, physicians, pulmonary patients and at the request of Alpha 1, template letter specifically for Alpha 1 patients to send.