ACOOG Advocacy Update
Jodi Benett, DO
June 28, 2020
I am excited to update the ACOOG community about this committee and improved advocacy awareness. As chair of the Government Affairs Committee, I am a bridge between the ACOOG and ACOG. I want to help fulfill one of President Woodman’s presidential initiatives of advocacy by promoting a message of:
YOUR VOICE MATTERS! YOUR ACTION MATTERS!
This committee was increased to 12 positions as part of the ACOOG Strategic Plan and initiative of Past President and loyal women’s health advocate, Dr. Dardarian. Geographic representation on the committee has been expanded to enhance a more regional view of current health policies and awareness. I apologize in the delay in this message, but the timing of the conference was the precipice of the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, a review of the year. There was a kick off meeting January 22, 2020, to set the agenda for the new year and to raise enthusiasm for the AGOG Congressional Leadership Conference that took place March 8-10 in Washington DC. Attendees this year included Jodi Benett DO, Thomas Dardarian DO, Guy Sneed DO and Harika Kantamneni, DO (Gelhaus Fellow).
The following summarizes the 2020 Commitment to Action Policy:
- Drive policy action to promote health equity in access to care and health outcomes
- Ensure the care obstetrician-gynecologists provide is valued, equitable, and fair
- Have a meaningful impact in the 2020 election cycle
Over the three days of this exciting conference, there are lectures on the current ASKS, along with lessons on how to advocate effectively, meaningfully, and efficiently. On the third day, attendees met with their local US Congress Representatives and Senators to discuss specific policies. The three ASKS for 2020 were:
- Enhance awareness of Maternal Mortality, and to extend Medicaid Coverage for 12 months Postpartum. In the House to support HR 4996, HR 4995 and in the Senate to introduce companion bills.
- Cut Maternal Mortality Rates, not Maternity Care, Stop Payment Reductions for Obstetric Care, by signing on to a letter to the CMS to correct an oversight in payment policy
- Support Women’s Research Funding at the National Institute of Health