by Dena K. Hubbard MD, FAAP
Advocacy…to change “what is” into “what should be”
We are quickly approaching the middle of the legislative session in Kansas. After next week, most bills that don’t receive a hearing are dead, unless exempt. That means there is a lot going on right now! Perhaps a silver lining of tragic events and injustice of 2020 is that more pediatricians are excited to participate and engage in legislative advocacy! If you are interested in learning more, joining our committee, and/or providing written or oral testimony, let us know! Thank you to those that have sent us information regarding upcoming bills and concerns on how it affects you, your patients, and your practice. Please keep it up! Legislators must hear from physicians at local, state, and national level! Let us know if you have questions as we can help you with scripting emails, letters, op-eds, and testimony.
Key legislative issues thus far include newborn screening, foster care, telemedicine, vaccines, tobacco age restrictions, suicide hotline, medical marijuana, gun safety, APRN Scope of practice, and ensuring care and support for transgender and gender-diverse children and adolescents. You can read more about specific bills in our weekly legislative updates. Stay tuned for member calls to action as we need your voice!
In place of our normal “in person” KAAP Advocacy Day, we held two virtual webinars in February, Advocacy 101 presented by Dr. Pam Shaw and me; and a Legislative Town Hall with our lobbyists Stuart Little and Mallory Lutz. We will be optimistic and hope for in person Advocacy Day in 2022!
The AAP Legislative Conference or “LegCon” has been renamed the AAP Advocacy Conference and has gone “viral” …I mean virtual! This will take place April 11-13, 2021. This is an inspiring conference and will help you feel confident in your advocacy skills (because you do advocacy work every day with your patients!) and will culminate in virtual meetings with congressional offices. To learn more and register, visit AAP.org/AdCon. Early bird registration closes February 28th and fee is significantly reduced this year as it is virtual.
As we celebrate Black History Month, I would like to share this very relevant quote.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Be kind. Stay awesome. Advocate fearlessly!