What I-GO is all about

June 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 5

As an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon, you know all too well the challenges faced in the day-to-day practice of medicine. Increased liability premiums, a challenging reimbursement environment, and burdensome government regulations continue to threaten the viability of your practice and can hinder your ability to provide patients with the highest quality care. So, how do otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons change this environment and regain control of specialty? One answer is through grassroots advocacy.

The Academy provides numerous opportunities for its members to influence health policymaking at the state and federal level, educate elected officials, and invest in the future of otolaryngology. One of the best ways to make your voice heard on behalf of the specialty is by participating in the In-District Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) program.

AAO-HNS members have a valuable voice as both voters and constituents. The Academy’s members are more than just physicians; they are also business owners, employers, voters, and constituents. The I-GO program works because direct contact with federal and state lawmakers amplifies the Academy’s ongoing advocacy efforts when issues that impact the specialty are debated. Successful advocacy starts with a solid grassroots foundation.

That sounds great! How do I get involved?

Meet at the district office
Legislators routinely meet with constituents at their local, in-district, offices. Meeting with a lawmaker or their staff in the district offers a more personal and relaxed environment to discuss issues that affect the specialty.

I’m interested. Where do I begin?

Contact the Advocacy Team to schedule a meeting with your lawmakers.
To request a meeting with your state and/or federal representative, visit www.entnet.org/content/district-grassroots-outreach-i-go, or email the AAO-HNS Advocacy Team at govtaffairs@entnet.org for assistance. Once the request is received, a member of the Advocacy Team will be in touch about scheduling your meeting.

What’s next?

Study your talking points.
The AAO-HNS Advocacy Team will provide everything you need to have a successful, productive meeting. You can expect custom talking points and background materials, including information about the lawmaker and important information on the Academy’s legislative priorities.

Smile for the camera.
During your meeting, make sure to request a photo with the legislator or staff. Don’t forget to send the pictures to the office and the AAO-HNS Advocacy Team.

Send a thank-you note.
After the meeting, send a thank-you letter or email, reiterating the key points discussed in your conversation. Don’t forget to follow up and send any additional information requested during the meeting. The Academy is happy to assist with the necessary follow-up materials.

Share your experience.
Don’t let your efforts go unnoticed! Share your experience with colleagues and encourage others to meet with their legislators.

Are there other ways to be an I-GO volunteer?

Yes! In addition to meeting with your legislators at their district offices, you can also …

Host a legislator at your practice.
It is not uncommon to see elected officials visiting small or new businesses in their communities on “site visits.” These visits provide an opportunity for the official to hear directly from constituents on certain legislation or regulations. Hosting a legislator at your practice allows you to talk about healthcare issues in your own environment.

Attend or host a fundraiser.
Fundraisers will allow you the opportunity for face time with candidates and elected officials to discuss the Academy’s key legislative issues. If you are currently an ENT PAC contributor and are interested in attending or hosting a fundraiser, email entpac@entnet.org. Your contribution to attend a fundraising event could be covered. Likewise, it is also helpful to participate in your state society or medical association fundraiser.

Are you ready to become an all-star advocate? Want to learn more about the Academy’s advocacy efforts and other grassroots programs? Email govtaffairs@entnet.org. The AAO-HNS Advocacy Team stands ready to help you make a difference.