Price is Right

The AAWC welcomed Former Secretary of Health and Human Services director, Tom Price, MD, to the Pressure Ulcer Summit to address whether the problem of pressure ulcers and chronic wounds has finally grabbed Washington’s attention? After speaking with the Secretary and listening to his lecture, it is clear that it has.

In his address, Secretary Price emphasized that politics are all about relationships. If the AAWC wants to influence policy, the AAWC must get to know key elected officials, especially members of their staff. In return, when a matter develops or counsel is needed on a wound related issue, Congress will turn for guidance to the society with whom they are most familiar: The AAWC.

Secretary Price outlined a plan. First, meet your regional representative, preferably in his or her home district. Share success stories about healing patients and the challenges in the wound care profession. Consider what is known in Washington as a “fly-in,” where select AAWC members come together in Washington to educate their congressional representatives on the issues facing the profession and patients. Make the fly-in a regular event. He recommended forging relationships with staffers as well as the legislators themselves. The representatives rely heavily on their staffs and when informed on matters, they can serve as advocates for the AAWC. Finally, keep in mind that if the AAWC is not present in Washington, DC and does not engage and inform Congressional representatives, another organization will fill the void.

To the applause of the members of the eight societies that joined together in support of the Pressure Ulcer Summit, Secretary Price stressed the importance of speaking with one voice. Disagreement between societies, he said, will not be mediated by Congress. On the contrary, they will find a united group and engage with them.

The AAWC must speak with one voice! Our plans for 2019 include engaging as much as Secretary Price recommended. On the ground in DC is are partner organizations willing to help the AAWC approach those on the Hill most influential on matters important in wound care. The AAWC is listening to its membership to bring together with one voice the issues which need to be before Congress. The AAWC is grateful to Secretary Price for recognizing the leadership role the organization plays in the wound care community. We look forward to seeing him and others in DC.

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