American Academy of Physician Assistants

Connect With Legislators at Home - Advocacy Challenge Toolkit

Congress wants your input and perspective!

Congressional "recess" periods are often the best times to connect with legislators. Legislators use their time at home in the district to solicit feedback, perspectives and suggestions on healthcare policy from constituents and stakeholders — that's YOU! 

All PAs are urged to make appointments to visit members of Congress in their district offices, attend local town hall meetings or round-table discussions, or even host a legislator at your facility while Congress is on recess and at home in the district, to engage face to face with legislators about the role of PAs in healthcare delivery and the impact PAs make in America's communities every day. Now is the time to tell the PA story, and let Congress know how PAs are improving access, quality and cost-effectiveness in healthcare.

Here are the tools to get you started.

Who is my legislator?

Visit AAPA's Advocacy Action Center to find out who your legislator is, and to get contact and biographical information on him or her.

What do I do?

Connect with senators and representatives through a face-to-face encounter. 

A recent survey of Hill staff found that an in-person visit from a constituent is the best way to influence a member of Congress. 

You can:

What do I say?

Most importantly, tell them you’re a PA and offer background on the profession and on your practice – why you became a PA. 

Then tell them PAs play an important and growing role in the delivery of high-quality, cost-efficient, team-based healthcare in communities across the country. 

Let them know the impact PAs have on patients, in all areas of medicine and in all kinds of settings. 

Use examples and stories to put a personal face on the profession and engage the listener.  

Additionally, you may want to consider raising a legislative priority that is relevant to your practice, such as modernizing Medicare to remove barriers to care provided by PAs (like hospice). Refer to the fact sheets on all of AAPA's current priorities.

What else should I 'leave behind'?

What if I can’t get an appointment or if there are no town meetings near me?

You can still communicate with your legislators and their staff; send an email or call today

You can also assemble a packet of information (see leave behinds, above) and drop it off at your legislator’s district office. 

Be sure to include a personal note saying that you look forward to meeting in person at a future date and offering to be a resource to the legislator on healthcare issues in your community.

Should I report back on my activity?

Most definitely! Let us know what you've done, and whether additional follow-up is needed from AAPA staff. 

Questions?

Contact Kristin Butterfield, AAPA's director of grassroots advocacy, at kbutterfield@aapa.org.