President’s Message: Using Passion for Effective Advocacy

Posted January 23, 2020

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Earlier this week we celebrated the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was an activist and leader who exemplified what it means to be a true advocate. He was articulate, engaging and diplomatic, but perhaps most important, he was passionate. As we continue to learn from the legacy of Dr. King, we see that effective advocacy grows from passion.

KMA physicians are deeply passionate about their patients. In my travels across the state as President meeting with other physicians and healthcare leaders, concern for the health of Kentuckians is a common thread in conversation. Thanks to the KMA, our passion as physicians can be mobilized through advocacy in Frankfort.

Public health, safety, and access to care are the top legislative priorities of the KMA in 2020. Together, we will be tackling numerous bills aimed at curbing and preventing tobacco usage, removing burdensome prior authorizations for medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and seeking coverage for non-opioid pain treatment alternatives. We will also be supporting legislation that would regulate deceptive drug injury advertisements and asking for vision testing to be part of the driver’s license renewal process. In addition, KMA will seek fair resolutions to the issues of surprise billing, co-pay accumulator policies, and a cap on insulin co-pays. You can read more about KMA’s 2020 legislative priorities here.

In order for us to see these priorities across the finish line, the advocacy of our membership is going to be imperative. The KMA helps make this easy each year by hosting its annual Physicians’ Day at the Capitol, during which members from every corner of the state descend on Frankfort to meet with legislators and advocate for the issues that matter most to our profession and our patients. This year’s Physicians’ Day will be held on February 6th and will include a legislative briefing followed by a Medical Student Outreach and Leadership (MSOL) student presentation, meetings with individual legislators and a buffet-style lunch for legislators, leadership staff and attendees. The day will conclude with a debriefing, followed by a KMA Board meeting. Attendees are also encouraged to wear their white coats to demonstrate our strength in numbers and to show support for the House of Medicine. Be sure to mark your calendar and register at https://2020kmaphysiciansdayatthecapitol.eventbrite.com/.

There are many important issues at stake this year for Kentuckians, and I am thankful our profession has the KMA to work on behalf of physicians and the patients for which we care. Our time to act is now and I hope you will join the KMA in doing what is right. I look forward to seeing you on February 6th as we work to make our Commonwealth a healthier place for us all.