Organizing Your Advocacy Efforts
HASC has successfully implemented several strategies to influence, raise awareness and educate federal and state decision-makers on key health care-related issues. This information offers some basic guidance for getting started and establishing an organized advocacy effort for your facility.
Effective representation is an important part of organizing your efforts. Pick a legislative deputy, or represenatative who is:
- Willing to become politically active on your behalf
- Interested in and enthusiastic about health issues and political affairs
- Able to communicate ideas effectively
Suggested Activities for Effective Involvement
Effective advocacy centers on communication–both receiving information and disseminating it. Here are some suggested ways to stay effectively involved.
Education and Communication on Health Issues
Approximate time commitment: 2 hours per month
- Become familiar with names and background of the legislators representing the hospital’s district(s).
- Follow news accounts of your legislators as well as bills and budgets that affect health care; consult HASC and the HASC web site for background and details as needed.
- Inform hospital leadership about legislative issues that may affect your hospital or health care delivery in your community.
- Advocate for developing contacts and relationships between hospital and legislative leaders.
Approximate time commitment: ½ to 3 hours per ALERT; 3 to 6 ALERTS per year
- Be the designated recipient of CHA-generated legislative ALERTs; read packet promptly and be prepared to respond within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. Call CHA or HASC staff for clarification of any issues.
- Coordinate ALERT response in accordance with the instructions provided. Modify and adapt the communication provided and give specific examples and financial impact of the bill/issue on the hospital and/or patients in the community.
- Complete and return the ALERT response form, which is used by HASC and CHA lobbyists to analyze support for issues, to know the type of communication between legislator and constituent, and to determine the effectiveness of the ALERT system.
Approximate time commitment: 8 hours per year
- Over time, develop relations with state Assembly member, state Senator, member of Congress, County Supervisor and staff of legislators representing the district(s) in which the hospital is located.
- Coordinate a minimum of one visit per year, preferably at your office or alternatively in the legislator’s office.
- Invite key leaders from your hospital, and, if appropriate, other health care providers in the district. Call on HASC to assist in arrangements, agenda and issues management.
- Report to HASC any visits or contacts with a legislator; this is vital to follow-up lobbying efforts.
Approximate time commitment: 10 to15 hours per year
- Order campaign coordinator kit and campaign materials from HASC or CHA (also available on the CHA web site).
- Become familiar with the legal guidelines contained in the kit.
- Draft letters and hold meetings according to the guidelines.
- Send checks to HASC or CHA.
- Celebrate when you reach your goal.