Since the start of the 115th Congress in January, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Divi- sion of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) has
been actively engaged with legislators on Capitol Hill,
ensuring that the interests of surgeons and surgical
patients are represented during policy debates.
In the first half of 2017, the ACS hosted a Commission on Cancer (CoC) advocacy day; a Committee on
Trauma (COT) congressional Stop the Bleed® briefing; and the 2017 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.
These events brought hundreds of surgeon-advocates
to Washington, DC, to inform members of Congress
about the College’s legislative priorities. The ACS is
monitoring and advocating for passage of numerous
pieces of legislation, including the Ensuring Access to
General Surgery Act (H.R. 2906/S. 1351), the Mission
Zero Act (H.R. 880/S. 1022), and the Protecting Access
to Care Act (H.R. 1215).
Informing Congress about your priorities
The CoC Advocacy Committee held its annual
planning meeting followed by a day on Capitol Hill
February 16–17. Attendees met with their representatives, senators, and congressional staff to discuss
issues that affect cancer patients, survivors, and
surgeons. Throughout this event and at the legislative meetings, CoC Advocacy Committee members
assisted in boosting the co-sponsorship of bills before
Congress and raising the profile of oncological issues
on Capitol Hill.
The CoC also participated in two lobby days in
March and June through One Voice Against Cancer
(OVAC). At these OVAC Lobby Days, participants
met with House and Senate appropriators to express
support for increases in cancer research funding,
including continued support for the Cancer Moonshot initiative.
Specifically, the CoC advocated for $36 billion in
funding for the National Institutes of Health for fiscal
year (F Y) 2018, a $2 billion increase from F Y 2017 levels,
including $6 billion for the National Cancer Institute.
The CoC also requested that Congress fund the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention cancer programs
at $514 million in FY 2018.*
COT Stop the Bleed congressional briefing
Leaders of the ACS and the COT hosted a congressional
briefing February 28 to highlight the Hartford Consensus and the ACS Stop the Bleed training program.
Congressional participants included Rep. Gene Green
(D-TX), ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee,
and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), who serves on the
same subcommittee. Throughout the briefing, lawmakers and congressional staff had the opportunity
to participate in immediate responder simulation in
using traditional and nontraditional bleeding control
methods until emergency medical services personnel
arrive to start the provision of definitive care.
This congressional briefing is a component of the
Stop the Bleed advocacy strategy, which aims to train
civilians to recognize life-threatening bleeding situations and to intervene effectively to save lives. It is
a priority for the ACS to ensure that Stop the Bleed
awareness and training become as commonplace as
cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the Heimlich
As the College continues to advocate and promulgate the program, the DAHP continues to meet with
congressional leaders to get their assistance in increasing the number of certified Stop the Bleed instructors
on Capitol Hill, as well as their support for continued
training of members of Congress, congressional staff,
and Capitol Police.
Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2017
More than 300 surgeons and residents participated in
the ACS advocacy day on Capitol Hill at the Leadership & Advocacy Summit 2017, May 6–9. Participants
• Describes ACS advocacy-related
activities for the first half of 2017
• Provides updates on CoC and Stop the Bleed initiatives
• Summarizes the ACS health care reform principles
*American College of Surgeons. Advocacy. Cancer research. Available
at: facs.org/advocacy/federal/cancer. Accessed July 20, 2017.