WSHA is gearing up for the 2019 state legislative session. Our Public Policy Committee asked WSHA to raise the advocacy profile of hospitals with state legislators. In turn, we are asking all hospital CEOs to meet with their state elected officials between now and November. Much has changed in Olympia, so we need to ensure hospitals are telling our story.
The stakes are high in the 2019 session. We are likely to face many harmful regulatory bills. It will also be a budget year with the opportunity for significant new funding for behavioral health system challenges and to provide community alternatives for patients who are stuck living in hospitals. It is critical that your local legislators hear your perspective on these issues.
WSHA has a suite of advocacy materials to help you during these meetings. We’ve included our priorities for the year, a fact sheet detailing the impact our industry has on the state, a customizable fact sheet for your hospital and talking points you can use when addressing the big issues. After your meeting, we would love to hear how it went through our two-minute survey. This helps us track our progress across the state. To help you prioritize, please see the roster of state legislators, and a list of retiring or outgoing legislators. Please work with your government affairs staff, if applicable, to arrange these meetings.
Finally, your support of the Washington Hospital Political Action Committee (WHPAC) is essential to affecting positive change for health care at both the local and national levels. The WHPAC works to elect champions for health care, and we recently released a new toolkit with information about how to successfully fundraise while complying with state and federal laws. There will also be a conference call at 4 p.m. September 20 for our members to learn more. You can also contribute to the WHPAC online at wsha.org/whpac/. Please email me if you need a copy of the PAC materials or want to join the conference call.
In your service,
WSHA Senior Vice President, Government Affairs