American Academy of Physician Assistants

Hosting Legislators at Your Practice

Here are tips for hosting a federal legislator (senator or representative) or open-seat congressional candidate at your practice.

Get buy-in

Check with your clinic administrator and other members of your facility's healthcare team to make sure everyone is on board with the idea.

Discuss ideal dates and times. First thing in the morning or afternoon may work best, before things get too busy.

Do your homework

Learn about the legislator. You can find contact and biographical information on AAPA’s Legislative Action Center.

The biography is particularly important; if you find that your legislator has an interest that is relevant to your clinic (i.e., rural healthcare, care for the elderly, women’s health, etc.), you’ll want to emphasize that during the visit.

Send your invite

Contact the legislator or a member of his/her staff by letter or phone. Invite them to see "healthcare in action" at your clinic.

Say that you understand how important healthcare is to them, and that you’d like to give them the opportunity to visit and discuss some of the challenges facing healthcare providers and their constituents.

Confirm a date

Confirm a date and time for their visit. Thirty minutes to an hour should be sufficient.

Prepare materials

Put together materials to give to the legislator, including background on the PA profession, fact sheets on policy priorities and a snapshot of PA practice in your state.

Assemble any handouts in a file folder with your business card attached. 

Prepare your office

Spiff up the office and alert colleagues. Consider making a "Welcome Representative/Senator _________" banner or poster for the office.

Create an agenda

Make a schedule for the visit. Here’s a sample agenda:

9:00 Legislator arrives, PA host greets the legislator, introduces staff and providers.
9:10 Tour of office and description of population served, special interests and roles of clinic staff. Be sure to mention any areas of particular interest to the legislator (i.e., "Dr. Jones is board certified in geriatric medicine" or "Ms. Miller is both our receptionist and our translator.")
9:20 Legislator, PA and and other facility providers convene in conference room or office to discuss health issues in district. Coffee is served. Legislator is invited to share his or her health agenda and discuss other issues of particular interest. Describe the PA's role on the healthcare team. Discuss legislative priorities of particular interest to your practice or community; share AAPA’s healthcare reform principles. Clinic group asks how they might help the legislator with health issues the legislator has identified.
9:40 Legislator is thanked by everyone for taking time from his or her busy schedule to visit. Take photos of legislator at clinic and with staff, if appropriate.

Host the visit

Meet with your legislator, make introductions and follow your agenda.

Say “thank you”

The day after the visit, send a personal note thanking the legislator for the visit and restate your offer to be of assistance and a resource as a healthcare provider in the community.

Let AAPA know

Contact AAPA’s federal affairs staff in Washington to follow up on your meetings and let us know if additional action on our part is needed. For more information contact AAPA Federal Advocacy staff:

Kristin Butterfield, kbutterfield@aapa.org