Each year a group of allergists – just like you – visit Washington, DC – and lobby on your behalf. Together with the Allergy and Asthma Network (AAN), we visit our state legislators. You can be part of the 2020 Allergy Strike Force and Allergy and Asthma Day on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, May 6. Contact AAN to register (until 5/1/2020).
The morning begins with a breakfast meeting. The day’s plan unfolds and instruction is provided not only on how to advocate, but also on the issues we want to present to legislators. Those with experience are usually paired with “newbies.” Typically, allergists are paired with patients and make three or four visits to various legislator’s offices throughout the day. Patients play a key role in explaining how the treatment of their allergic disease has impacted their quality of life.
This is only the beginning of the relationships you can forge. As a physician, you are the expert on allergy and immunology. Offer to meet with your legislators when they are back in your state. Give them your contact information and offer to be a resource on legislation that may affect medicine or your patients. After your visit, send an email thanking them for seeing you and include your contact info again. Check-in periodically; offer to advise/counsel. Remember – you’re the expert! Build the relationship before you need to ask a favor.