It was a cold and rainy Tuesday, when dialysis patients, family members and healthcare providers descended on Capitol Hill to meet with legislators about expanding coordinated care efforts. This was a record setting year for the advocacy day, beginning with the application process which saw over 150 applicants and ending with the number of meetings held, 142. This was the largest patient advocacy day DPC has hosted since September 2013 in response to the drastic proposed funding cuts for dialysis.
The weekend was very busy, but our advocates were energetic and determined to have their voices heard by lawmakers. Their trip to DC began with Sunday night dialysis, where they received a VIP welcome and treatment. Monday hosted the advocacy day training for the next days meetings. We were grateful to have special guests from an ESCO program run by DaVita as well as two Hill staff members for the bill’s sponsors, join us to answer questions about coordinated care.
They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but this year March in DC decided to rear its lion-like head. The morning of the Hill day it was cold, windy and rainy with snow forecasted in the evening. By 8:00 a.m. flights were already cancelled. The weather and travel complications would have put a damper on most people’s day, but not our patient advocates! They showed remarkable resolve dealing with the weather and had many successful meetings.
The staff at DPC is excited to continue working with our advocates and lawmakers to get the Dialysis PATIENTS Act passed and signed into law. If you are looking to get more involved with advocacy, check out the patient ambassador program or take action today!
You can view photos from the day by clicking the image below.