ACG Advocacy Day 2021: Thank You ACG Members!

From Vice Chair and Chair of the ACG Board of Governors Dayna S. Early, MD, FACG and Patrick E. Young, MD, FACG

On Thursday, April 15th, the ACG Board of Governors, the ACG Young Physician Leadership Scholars, and members of the ACG Legislative & Public Policy Council joined together to participate in the 2021 ACG Advocacy Day.

ACG Advocacy Day focused on sharing stories and insights with legislators and their staffs to help advance care for gastroenterology patients while educating congressional leaders on the issues that matter in clinical GI practice, including colorectal cancer screening and prevention despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are grateful to the College's leadership, to ACG President Dr. David A. Greenwald, to Dr. James C. Hobley, Chair of ACG's Legislative & Public Policy Council, to the co-directors of the ACG Young Physicians Leadership Program Drs. Mark Pochapin and David Hass, and everyone who dedicated time and effort to the success of ACG Advocacy Day.

Several physicians who are also Members of Congress addressed the ACG Board of Governors and Young Physician Leadership Scholars including U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, MD FACG (R-LA), a gastroenterologist, and U.S. Representative Kim Schrier, MD (D-WA), a pediatrician.

Representative Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2013 and spoke about how training in medicine is helpful to serving in Congress: collect data; ask questions; seek out others who have more information; ultimately come to a conclusion; and get things done. His advice: "Put patients at the center" of your advocacy message.

Former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy offered his perspective on the important role of ACG's Governors & Young Physician Leadership Scholars in the legislative process and shared insights on the advocacy efforts that resulted in passage last year of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, including the role played by legislative champion Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)

Remember to contact your ACG Governor on important state and local issues impacting you and your practice.

The ACG Board of Governors is one of the most unique aspects of the American College of Gastroenterology. Governors are ACG Fellows that are elected from the membership of a particular state or region. There are currently 77 Governors across seven different regions in the U.S. and abroad. The Board of Governors acts as a two-way conduit between College leadership and the membership at-large. This helps the College make certain it is meeting the evolving needs of the membership.