What Can Chapters Do to Take Advantage of the Report Card?
The National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine can be a powerful tool to help chapters advocate for needed policy changes in their states. Numerous chapters engaged in state advocacy efforts related to key issues highlighted in the 2009 Report Card (see examples). Chapters may want to start planning now for how they can best take advantage of the 2014 Report Card to help propel their state advocacy agenda. Some specific strategies that chapters might want to consider include:
- Have your members send the Report Card to their state legislators. Use ACEP’s Action Alert System to set up messages that your members can quickly send to their legislators, with a link to the online version Report Card. Chapters have free access to ACEP’s Action Alert service and can have an action alert generated by filling out this form.
- Build more support/opposition for existing legislation. Is there already legislation introduced that addresses a key issue for your chapter? Follow up the release of the Report Card with an Action Alert that your members can send to their legislators, providing a link to the Report Card and re-emphasizing your position on the bill. Chapters can have an action alert generated for them by filling out this form.
- Introduce new legislation. Prior to the public release of the Report Card, identify a key problem in the state that is covered in the Report Card. Then begin drafting legislation to address the issue and have it ready for introduction immediately on the heels of the Report Card’s release. Click here for information on how to introduce legislation.
- Seek a demonstration/pilot project. If the issue isn’t ripe for adoption on a statewide basis, you may want to consider if legislation to create a limited/localized demonstration or pilot project might be beneficial and more amenable to state officials. It could pave the way for more widespread acceptance down the road.
- Creating a study task force. New and/or controversial proposals that aren’t likely to be passed in the legislature might be better suited for study by a legislative or governor’s task force. A task force can help a new idea gain support over time. Click here for a chapter guide to establishing a governor’s task force.
- Organize a town hall meeting. To generate more attention to an issue, consider hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the issue with key stakeholders and policymakers. Those policymakers may become more vested in helping to address the issue and the news media will often cover the meeting. Click here to download the Chapter Guide to Organizing, Planning and Executing a Town Hall Meeting.
- Consider hosting a job shadowing or mini-internship program. If a key issue addressed in the Report Card can be demonstrated through a visit to an emergency department, then you may want to consider formally inviting policymakers to shadow some of your chapter members on a shift in the ED. Click here for a guide to hosting a Mini-Internship Program.
- Access ACEP grant funds to host a stakeholder meeting in support of liability reform legislation. ACEP is budgeted to help pay for two chapters to host a meeting in their states that helps advance meaningful state liability reform legislation. The grants are allotted on a first-come, first-served basis to chapters that begin planning meetings. Contact Craig Price at the ACEP office for details.
- Access ACEP Public Policy Grant funds to support extraordinary state advocacy efforts in support of key legislation. Chapters can be awarded up to $12,500 to help in the development of special advocacy efforts. Click here for the grant criteria and application form.