LMS Getting Ready for the Legislative Session
By Christopher Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO
An essential part of LMS President Charles Papp’s strategy, as expressed at his inaugural address to the membership on January 15 at the LMS Dinner Meeting, is to get LMS engaged in advocating for legislation that will benefit their patients and practices as well as help Kentucky retain and attract high quality physicians. Two events in January helped get LMS and the membership focused on this effort.
The first, was the formation of the LMS Legislative Task Force consisting of physicians of varying backgrounds and specialties who would be willing to speak to legislative panels or write op eds regarding health care issues. The LMS Legislative Task Force is chaired by Dr. Papp with members Drs. James Borders, Lee Dosset, Michael Lally, Mamata Majmundar, Danesh Mazloomdoost, Khalil Rahman, Sandy Shuffett, Dale Toney, Tuyen Tran, Thomas Waid, and John White. They met with Senator Ralph Alvarado, MD and Representative Kim Mosher on January 16th to get insights on the upcoming legislative session.
The second event was the Lexington Medical Society and the Lexington Medical Society Alliance Legislative Update at the Copper Roux on January 25th. The event attracted its largest crowd ever with over 55 members and spouses in attendance. As members and their spouses arrived, they were greeted with breaking news that Senator Alvarado, MD, the event’s featured speaker, was selected to run as the Lieutenant Governor with Governor Matt Bevin in the upcoming election.
Pat Padgett, the KMA Executive Vice President, spoke first with a message of three ways a physician can get involved in legislative advocacy. First, the importance of physicians staying informed on legislative issues by registering for KMA legislative text alerts. Simply text “KMA” to 50457. You will immediately get a text with a link to complete your registration. KMA promises not to over text by only sending weekly updates and alerts when your action is needed to help with a legislative bill. Second, attend KMA’s Physicians’ Day at the Capitol on February 21st. Lastly, help elect legislators supportive of issues of importance to physicians be contributing to the Kentucky Physician’s PAC, KPPAC.
Senator Ralph Alvarado, MD, still full of energy after along and eventful day, spoke for 45 minutes and then took questions. He highlighted the medical related bills to expect in the legislative session. One of his key messages was the importance of physician involvement in the legislative process.
Our January events helped articulate our focus, organize our leadership, and energize our members on legislative advocacy. Now we need to take Senator Alvarado’s advice and get involved. It is better to help shape the process then to get shaped.