Hill Day

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Hill Day 2008


More than 40 members from the ATS Council of Chapter Representatives (CCR), Clinicians Advisory Committee (CAC), the ATS leadership and members of the Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) visited Capitol Hill in February to encourage lawmakers to pass legislation to prevent lung disease and advance care for patients with respiratory diseases. 

Topping the ATS agenda is giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products. ATS members also petitioned Congress to enact legislation to create a federal Medicare pulmonary rehabilitation benefit and to support a demonstration program to improve the efficiency of critical care providers.  

“It is critical that ATS members come to Washington to advocate directly with their members of Congress on respiratory health issues, particularly in an election year,” said Vera A. De Palo, M.D., chair of CCR. 

Members agreed that having patients and their family members really drove the message home that respiratory illness is under-recognized, as is the growing workforce shortage of critical care physicians.

“Joining forces with CCR, the members of PAR were able to deliver a powerful message,” said Donna Appell, R.N., PAR chair. “Giving lung disease a face is so important, because so may lawmakers do not recognize how prevalent respiratory disease is.”