DPC advocates flew to Washington, DC for our 2014 World Kidney Day Fly-in. Twenty-six patients and family members were joined by 19 provider representatives from 24 states. Advocates conducted 94 meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. This year, we asked Congress to protect funding for the Medicare ESRD program and to open Medicare Part C to people on dialysis. Take a look at these pictures for the full story. The patients in the these pictures are our most active Patient Ambassadors. If you are interested in becoming a strong advocate for people with kidney disease, join the Patient Ambassador program!

The day before advocates visit Capitol Hill, they receive comprehensive training from special guests, DPC staff and advocacy professionals.

This year, our special guest was Rodney Whitlock, Healthcare Policy Advisor to Senator Chuck Grassley. He gave a great presentation on why grassroots advocacy is important.

Next, DPC staff ran through the issues we are working on. Hrant Jamgochian, DPC Executive Director,  spoke about the importance of ensuring stable funding for the Medicare ESRD program.

Jackson Williams, Director of Government Affairs at DPC, explained why we are asking Congress to open Medicare Part C to people on dialysis.

Last but not least, Christopher Kush with Soapbox Consulting provided helpful tips to advocates about how to weave their personal stories into our policy priorities.

After presenters finished, advocates had the chance to practice their meeting presentations with the fly-in participants from their state.

The next day, advocates arrived on Capitol Hill. You might not be able to tell from this picture, but it was a cold day in Washington, DC on World Kidney Day!

DPC Patient Ambassador, Devon Osbourne from Texas speaks to NPR reporter Ailsa Chang before his meeting with Senator Cornyn’s office. Click here to listen to the story!

Members of Congress always try and say hello to constituents Here is Senator Jerry Moran with DPC Board Member, Mike Guffey from Kansas and DPC Patient Ambassador Andrew Conkling from Alabama. 

Members in the House of Representatives often spend more time meeting with our advocates. Congressman Steve Daines from Montana discusses patient access and quality of care issues with Nance Lehman from Montana and Toni Greene from Wyoming.

Sometimes offices do not have enough room to hold a meeting. Here the Colorado group meets with staff in the hall.

Our Washington group got a great picture with Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler. Representative Beutler ‘s infant daughter was born without properly formed kidneys, so she understands our concerns on a very personal level.

There is Rodney Whitlock again. This time, he is meeting with DPC Board Vice President Jack Reynolds and the Iowa group. One of the main reasons why Rodney spoke to our advocates is because of his friendship with Jack. Jack was our Patient Honoree this year at our DPC Education Center Gala. Click here to see Jack’s story