In past communications, I've discussed the new partnership between ASPHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Expanding ASPHO's advocacy capacity is a central goal of this partnership, and I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about the advocacy opportunities on the horizon.
Under the guidance of the ASPHO's Advocacy Committee, you will soon begin to hear from us about public policy issues important to pediatric hematologists/oncologists and the children they treat. Each month from now until the ASPHO annual meeting in April, we will highlight one of the specific issues that together form the workplan of the Advocacy Committee and our collaboration with the AAP federal affairs staff. We'll provide key information you need to know about these issues in Washington, DC and recommend specific actions you can take to help advance these causes.
In each communication, we'll focus on one of the five primary advocacy goals identified by the Advocacy Committee and the ASPHO board. These goals are:
- Access to Drugs, Devices and Biologics
- Medical Homes for Children with Sickle Cell Disease
- Sufficient Payment for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
- Adequate Workforce
- Federal Funding for Hematology/Oncology Research, Surveillance and Other Legislation
In a few weeks' time, we'll send you a message about funding for federal programs important to the population we care for. This will be a crucial time as Congress and the President work to negotiate a deficit reduction deal to avoid the impending "fiscal cliff'': a combination of massive spending cuts and tax increases slated to automatically go into effect at the beginning of January 2013. It will be vital for ASPHO members to communicate with decision makers and tell them that it is unwise to balance the budget on the backs of children.
Spring Washington Advocacy "Fly-In"
The Advocacy Committee will also be working quickly to arrange an advocacy "fly-in" for this Spring. ASPHO members will be afforded the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC for hands-on advocacy training. Attendees will learn about key issues going on in the Capitol and receive training on how to meet with their respective members of Congress. Before members leave Washington, they'll have the opportunity to go to Capitol Hill and lobby their own senators and representatives.
Advocacy Session at the Annual Meeting
At the ASPHO 2013 annual meeting in Miami, FL, we'll be holding an advocacy session on Wednesday, April 24. This will provide us with an opportunity to discuss with ASPHO members the advocacy strategic plan and ongoing advocacy partnership between the AAP and ASPHO. Washington staff from the AAP will also provide brief advocacy training, including advice on how to use the media--including social media--to advance advocacy goals.
We're excited about these upcoming opportunities and look forward to hearing your feedback as we move forward.
This advocacy work will be funded substantially by increasing membership among pediatric hematologists/oncologists in the AAP. We count on you to help us advance this important work. Join AAP or renew by calling 800/433-9016 x5897 with code N-ASPHO to take advantage of a special offer. Thank you.