The show of a collective effort of DCMS physicians is extremely important. Members provide a powerful common voice protecting patients, physicians, and their relationship, while serving as thought leaders and conveners to model positive change. DCMS physicians are involved in influencing legislation as it pertains to the quality of care delivered to patients.
The guiding principles listed below were created by the DCMS Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Committee.
Guiding Principle 1: Ensure the health of all people of Dallas County and uphold the mission and values of DCMS. DCMS mission and values provide guidance to strategic priorities.
Guiding Principle 2: Continuous involvement in the legislative process. The interval between sessions is an important time to cultivate relationships with current office holders and the opportunities to engage with them are more frequent. Committee members shall meet with selected legislators and/or federal leaders to convey pertinent issues affecting Dallas.
Guiding Principle 3: Every legislative office gets a visit during First Tuesdays during the current legislative session. At every stage of the legislative process, committee members shall have face-to-face meetings with all congressmen and their staffs. Members will educate and identify legislators sympathetic to TMA and DCMS’ positions.
In order to support the principles the committee will:
- Identify a smaller subset of committee members through a steering committee.
- Determine interim activities. Identification includes specific district senators and/or representatives.
- Provide additional structure to First Tuesdays.
- In order to enhance member’s First Tuesday experience, members will be provided with a legislative profile and will discuss the legislator’s top priorities.
- Monday evening “huddle” meetings will coordinate member speakers and talking points for each office visit. The goal is to equip members for each visit with well-researched and persuasive arguments for particular issues.
- To ensure that every office gets a visit, the committee will organize and agree upon the schedule and meeting assignments in advance.
- Convene committee for an after-action meeting following the legislative session to discuss any follow-up activities or additional areas of concern.
- Send out a biennial satisfaction survey to committee members to maintain on-going improvements to the First Tuesday experience.
- Suggest DCMS resolutions and authors for TMA delegation consideration. DCMS staff will help draft resolutions.
- Work with medical students, residents, 100% large groups and other DCMS committees to ensure that additional DCMS views will be represented in meetings and resolutions.
Guiding Principle 4: Provide guidance and act as a resource to Dallas County legislators and TMA. The show of a collective effort of DCMS physicians is extremely important at the local level. At the state and federal level, bill introductions are published long before the legislative process begins. The committee shall preemptively engage local elected officials and build meaningful relationships with lawmakers before they need them. Elected officials are not experts on the myriad issues they are required to confront. State level staff may also not be cognizant of the most pressing issues in North Texas. The committee seeks to be an expert resource and inform their decision-making.
Physicians need to be involved in all phases of the legislative process. If you would like to join your colleagues in Austin or get involved at any level, contact Anna Acuña, Vice President, Business of Medicine/Advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-413-1424.