deny claims, and increasing the wrongful death liability
cap to $1.5 million from $500,000. Attendees were also
able to attend hearings held by the House and Senate
Committees on Health.
The Tennessee Chapter of the ACS joined forces
with the Tennessee Medical Association at its annual
Day on the Hill in Nashville March 3. Surgeons
used the opportunity to meet with lawmakers and
attend legislative committee hearings. At the event,
physicians opposed legislation that would authorize independent practice for nurse practitioners,
S.B. 680/H.B. 456; an increased statute of limitations for health care liability, S.B. 764/H.B. 666; and
repeal of the motorcycle helmet law, S.B. 925/H.B.
700. None of these bills advanced significantly in
the 2015 legislative session.
In addition to addressing these issues, the Tennessee Chapter used this opportunity to educate
legislators about the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative, a partnership between the chapter, the
Tennessee Hospital Association, and the Tennessee
Health Foundation. The collaborative uses the ACS
National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
data to improve surgical outcomes.
The Virginia Chapter of the ACS partnered with
other surgical societies to host a lobby day January
27 in Richmond. The day began with a briefing and
an advocacy presentation from the Virginia Medical
Society on a wide variety of legislative and political
issues. After the briefing, Fellows headed to the state
capitol for meetings with their individual state legis-
lators. These productive meetings enabled Fellows to
advocate on legislation regarding prescription prior
authorization reform, liquid nicotine restrictions, and
How to get involved
Fellows play an important grassroots advocacy role
at the state level. For those chapters and states that do
not sponsor a lobby day, there are other ways to make
a difference. For example, all Fellows can take action
by contacting their legislators on pending legislation
through the Surgery State Legislative Action Center
Another way to get involved is to attend the ACS
2016 Leadership & Advocacy Summit April 9–12, 2016,
at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. The annual
summit is a dual meeting that offers volunteer leaders
and advocates comprehensive and specialized educational sessions focused on effective surgeon leadership,
as well as interactive advocacy training useful in federal
and state grassroots advocacy, and coordinated visits
to congressional offices.
Whereas most state legislatures have finished
their legislative business for the year, lawmakers
have shifted their focus to in-district efforts and the
2016 legislative sessions. At this time, it is imperative that chapters begin to plan for the upcoming
sessions by creating an advocacy strategy. The lobby
day program is one of the best tools to support state
grassroots activity, and the State Affairs team is available to assist with planning a lobby day or helping
chapters with other grassroots advocacy initiatives.
Contact the State Affairs team at state_affairs@facs.
org with questions or concerns. ♦