It was an impressive gathering as more than 1,000 hospital supporters converged upon Madison April 19 to attend the WHA Advocacy Day 2017 event at Monona Terrace for a morning of education and networking. And, for the first time in the history of WHA’s Advocacy Day, every available meeting room in the state capitol was booked as more than 600 hospital supporters flocked to the capitol in the afternoon to meet with their local legislators.
In his welcome, WHA President/CEO Eric Borgerding was clearly impressed with the sea of supporters he saw before him.
"This is just a tremendous showing," Borgerding said. "You are a powerful voice for your community hospital and the patients you serve."
Borgerding noted that since 2005, more than 10,000 people have attended Advocacy Day, and of those, 6,500 have gone over to the state capitol and lobbied their legislators.
With the support of citizen lobbyists, WHA and its member hospitals and health systems are effective advocates for sound health care policy, not just in Madison, but also in the nation’s capital. A brief video (see www.wha.org/advocacy-day.aspx) highlighted the multiple in-district meetings and roundtables hosted by WHA members that bring policymakers into their organizations to see health care delivery on the front lines. Borgerding said Advocacy Day is powerful for the fact it brings hospitals together throughout Wisconsin and provides an education and advocacy forum for supporters.
"We gather to learn more about the activities at the state and federal level that affect our hospitals so we can take that knowledge to our state capitol and tell our legislators to help all of us keep our hospitals strong for our patients and our communities," Borgerding said. "Today we have more than 600 people going to the capitol to visit with legislators and their staff. Thank you for your commitment to this event, but more, thanks for your commitment to grassroots advocacy on behalf of your community hospitals. That truly inspires us all."