Why is ACNM is charging for the November 15, 2021, Virtual Hill Day? We answer that question and more as we tell you about our platform for virtual advocacy. Instead of burning out our volunteers and Government Affairs staff, we made the decision to invest in a third-party advocacy day scheduling firm, Advocacy Associates, to handle the scheduling and logistics for our Congressional meeting requests. While this is a change in how ACNM has done things in the past, we are joining organizations like AANP, ANA, ACOG, AANA, NCSBN, APTA who are all using third-party consultants to schedule Hill Days. Placing this arduous task in the hands of experts frees our team up so that we can focus on working to ensure the advocacy priorities of ACNM remain on the minds of members of Congress and their staff. Click here to learn more about Advocacy Associates.
1. Is ACNM turning a profit by charging members to attend Hill Day?
No, charging a fee is necessary to prevent attrition the day of the event. We need members to have some skin in the game to ensure meetings are not “no call no showed” with members of Congress or their staff. While a free event is easy to attend, that unfortunately makes it easy to cancel (especially when it’s virtual) which would hurt our organization and the profession of midwifery. We want to elevate the profession of midwifery with the folks who have policy making power.
2. Why did ACNM hire a third-party when the ACNM National Government Affairs Committee has been tasked with coordinating and scheduling ACNM’s Hill Day in the past? Since this is a new event, separate from Hill Day that has traditionally been associated with our in-person Annual Meeting in D.C., we decided to take a different approach. Our ultimate goal is to have midwives on Capitol Hill annually, both virtually and eventually in-person. Having a centralized vendor to do the scheduling will allow for a very seamless process of coordinating the multitude of moving parts that are entailed with a virtual Hill Day: setting the appointments, coordinating the technology that will be used during the virtual meeting (i.e., Zoom Teams, WebEx), and distributing the schedules and information. Outsourcing this to the experts will provide Hill Day attendees with one point of contact for support and will streamline the process and eliminate much of the confusion that has been experienced during past ACNM Hill Days.
3. Why did ACNM choose Advocacy Associates?
Advocacy Associates came highly recommended by several organizations that ACNM works with. Furthermore, Advocacy Associates is one of the top vendors in the hill meeting logistics space. So far in 2021, Advocacy Associates has executed 150+ virtual Hill Days, totaling 20k+ virtual meetings for 28k+ attendees. They are widely used by many of the medical/healthcare associations and colleges based in the D.C. metro area.
4. How will I know where to access my meetings? Advocacy Associates has a centralized, proprietary portal to make the experience extremely seamless (sample screenshot of the platform below). You will be able to access your schedule, talking points, documents, zoom links, who else from your state and/or district is attending, surveys, bios and much more all from one website. This information will be shared with all registered attendees one week in advance of the event. There will be plenty of time to review the materials and familiarize yourself with the platform. On the day of the event, all you need to do is show up for your scheduled meetings!
5. How will I know what to say to my Member of Congress or their staff?ACNM will be conducting a live training session on Monday, November 8th where members from the Advocacy Associates will walk attendees through the process of accessing their meetings and ACNM Government Affairs staff will review the prep materials and talking points for the day. The session will be recorded and made available to all attendees in advance of November 15th. If there are several midwives assigned to one office, one person will be contacted about being the lead. Being the lead means you simple kick-off the discussion. Click here for ACNM’s Talking Points on how to prepare for Hill Day
Midwifery is having a moment in this country. People in positions of power to make instrumental policy changes within our nation’s healthcare system are listening. Our overarching goal is to ensure that ACNM’s legislative priorities are in the hearts and minds of Congress should an opportunity present itself to get something folded into a “must-pass” end-of-year legislative package. The Advocacy Associates partnership will be a huge asset to our government affairs team in preparing from this event, allowing them to focus on the logistics while we funnel our focus to the policy and substance of this Hill Day.
Please join us for Virtual Hill Day on November 15, 2021!
Still have questions about ACNM’s Virtual Hill Day?
Contact ACNM’s Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs, Amy Kohl, at akohl@ACNM.org or (240) 485-1806 with any burning questions.