We extend our appreciation and gratitude to over 325 attendees who contributed to the success of our first-ever Virtual Policy Summit, Leading Beyond Crisis.
Our keynote speakers, pandemic expert Dr. Michael Osterholm and renowned columnist Jonathan Capehart, inspired us to roll up our sleeves in the coming months in a very different way. Dr. Osterholm left us with a deeper understanding of the long-term work left ahead as the pandemic persists, and Jonathan Capehart urged us to “be allies in order to have allies” as we engage in difficult but necessary conversations on racial equity amid high political polarization. The Summit also featured:
Video appearances by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), as they accepted the Congressional Champion Awards. Senator Ernst advocated for Medicaid providers to receive funds from the Provider Relief Fund at a time when the Fund prioritized funding Medicare providers. Senator Hassan introduced legislation to codify Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) as a distinct profession; DSPs are currently categorized under the umbrella category of home health aides.
Key officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Anne Marie Costello, Acting Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, shared insights on planning ahead for when pandemic emergency waivers expire. Michelle Washko, Director of the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, shared insights on the challenges facing DSPs and how to look beyond the pandemic to strengthen this workforce.
Congressional committee staff overseeing Medicaid shared off-the-record insights on the political climate surrounding Medicaid HCBS programs and prospects for future legislative efforts.
Smart, vivid and heartfelt discussions from members participating in our roundtable sessions. In fact, our Government Relations staff are already incorporating some of the feedback from those sessions in our planning for the next Congress.
Emotional moments as we honored ANCOR members whose advocacy went above and beyond this year, including recipients of the Suellen Galbraith Award for Excellence in Public Policy, as well as recipients of two new awards: the Bonnie-Jean Brooks Rising Star Award, and the Diane McComb State Association Star Award.
Opportunities to speak up for #ForgottenFaces through our social media day of action, which we offered in lieu of our traditional Hill Day. Even if you did not get to participate on October 6, our message is still very relevant. Access our social media toolkit to keep the pressure on Congress to do its job, so you can do yours!
And the fun is not over yet… You can revisit your favorite sessions through our Summit app or the ANCOR Connected Community; where available, you can now find recordings, slides and handouts in either place.
Your willingness to engage with our speakers and each other was a key part of successfully converting to a virtual format amid this pandemic, so we conclude with another big THANK YOU to all our participants! If you could not attend, be sure not to miss future events such as our Government Relations Retreat (every January) or our Annual Conference (every spring); we will share more information on those in coming months.
Doris Parfaite-Claude is ANCOR’s Federal Advocacy and Research Manager and penned this article on behalf of ANCOR’s entire Government Relations team.
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