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Advocacy Efforts: Meeting our U.S. Senator's Staff

By Nancy Korman posted 08-11-2015 13:11


This advocacy blog is being posted on behalf of Dr. Monique Villanueva, CSHP Golden Gate Society Health System Pharmacists Chapter President. Monique's blog provides excellent tips on planning for a meeting with your legislator - her preparation went along way toward insuring we had a successful meeting.

Nancy Korman


The California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) has been very proud to have been a leader in advocacy efforts, which resulted in the passage of SB493 in 2013, the California state law that recognizes pharmacists as providers. In our CSHP affiliated chapter, Golden Gate Society of Health-System Pharmacists, our senior members have always encouraged us to be aware of both the state and federal laws up for discussion that deal with the pharmacy profession. This year, as CSHP Golden Gate Chapter President, I was made aware of S314 and HR592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. This bill would recognize pharmacists as providers under the Social Security Act, enabling us to provide health care in the community; particularly in underserved areas where there may be a shortage of primary care providers.

Recognizing the importance of these federal bills in helping advance the pharmacy profession, I wanted members of our chapter to meet with at least one member of Congress to discuss and gain support for S314 and HR592. I reached out to Bay Area House of Representative members and California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Jackie Speier, House Representative for the area South of San Francisco, had already supported HR592 prior to my meeting request. I was very excited when Joshua Quigley, Bay Area field representative for Senator Boxer invited members of our chapter to meet with him to discuss S314!

In preparing for our meeting, I reached out to ASHP’s Government Affairs staff for any prepared advocacy materials regarding HR592 and S314. I made sure that I and our chapter members attending this meeting understood the bill and the impact that it would have for the pharmacy profession. I also asked chapter members that have previously met with local and state representatives about their meeting experiences. Lastly, I reviewed the planned order of our group presentation with the other members attending this meeting to ensure there was a logical flow to the content. 

In the meeting with Mr. Quigley, I was joined by Golden Gate Chapter members Nancy Korman, PharmD, FCSHP, FASHP and Dan Dong, PharmD, FCSHP. After I had introduced S314, Mr. Quigley asked how can pharmacists provide healthcare to patients? We provided him with information regarding pharmacists’ education and postgraduate training and the various areas where pharmacists work and their responsibilities. We highlighted that patient care involves multiple disciplines, including the pharmacists who can recommend appropriate medications for patients with specific disease states. We emphasized examples of how pharmacists help alleviate the burden of primary care providers by managing chronic disease states, validating the importance of S314. The meeting was very informative, for both sides, and we were able to demonstrate to Mr. Quigley that pharmacists play an integral role in the healthcare of patients. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Quigley indicated he would share what we presented with the Senator’s Washington, DC staff involved with healthcare policy. The day after the meeting, I received word from ASHP that Senator Boxer had cosponsored S314!

Federal bills such as HR592 and S314 have recognized pharmacy education and training and the role pharmacists have in health systems. I encourage state pharmacy chapters to meet with their local House of Representative members or United States Senators to discuss HR592 and S314. By educating law makers about our profession, we can continue to move our profession forward and play a vital role in the health and well-being of all patients.


Monique Villanueva, PharmD, BCACP
President, CSHP Golden Gate

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