Members Advocating for ID: In-Person Meetings Tell the Story of ID
The Power of Patient Stories
“Accounts of young addicts presenting with strokes from endocarditis put a human face on the [opioid] problem,” shared IDSA member Marcia Epstein, MD, FIDSA following her meeting with aides to Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Dr. Epstein noted the impact of emphasizing patient stories over statistics.
Dr. Epstein and colleagues educated the Senators’ staffers on IDSA policy priorities including the opioid crisis and the need for new antimicrobial agents and stewardship. She noted that, while aware of the opioid crisis generally, lawmakers were less familiar with its link to infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and endocarditis. Both offices indicated further actions would be forthcoming on opioids legislation.
If you would like to meet with your congressional representatives while they are working in their states and districts, please contact Haley Payne, IDSA Senior Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator.
A Close-Up Look at AMR
The infectious diseases physicians at University of Texas Southwestern, led by IDSA board member Trish Perl, MD, FIDSA recently hosted US Representative Pete Sessions at their institution. The visit came at the suggestion of the Congressman’s staff following a meeting with UT Southwestern’s Mamta Jain, MD, FIDSA and IDSA staff earlier this year on the infectious diseases impacts of the opioid epidemic. The Congressman made the in-person visit to learn more about the important contributions of ID physicians and ID physician-scientists to patient care, public health and research, as well as the importance of federal funding and federal policies to their work.
Drs. Perl, Jain, Greenberg, and colleagues spoke with Rep. Sessions about ID physician reimbursement and recruitment, antimicrobial resistance, public health emergency preparedness and response, rising rates of infectious diseases due to the opioid crisis, and funding for NIH and CDC. The team also showed the congressman a laboratory that focuses on antimicrobial resistance research and the institution’s Ebola assessment center.
The Congressman left with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the many important roles of ID physicians and physician-scientists, better equipped to support IDSA policy priorities.
Would you like to be more engaged in IDSA’s efforts to educate policymakers and advance important issues? Join the Member Advocacy Program for more opportunities to engage with lawmakers. Just email Lisa Cox, IDSA’s Director of Government Relations.