ABA’s first Virtual NLC was a resounding success! Thanks to the over 140 ABA members who participated in activities throughout the week! Twenty-two states were represented in our virtual Hill Visits. There were over 55 meetings with members of Congress and their staffers.
The focus this year was on thanking Senators and Congresspeople for passing the Flame Arresters Bill. This effort was led by Congressman Mike Thompson from California and has been a priority of the ABA for several years. It was a wonderful to see it finally move forward at the end of 2020. The second ask was for continued support of funding for the Military Burn Research Program. This was funded in 2020 at $10M and the same amount is requested for the coming year.
In addition to the meetings, there were two webinars focusing on how to advocate and learning about the impact of electrical injuries and how to prevent them, our National Burn Awareness Week topic. There was also a Grassroots Symposium with over 40 attendees that included interactive discussion on advocacy efforts and how to get involved.
Social media played a part in increasing awareness with over 400 posts on various platforms highlighting the NLC and National Burn Awareness Week.
ABA members also earned points in the Advocacy Challenge by participating in meetings, attending events, and promoting advocacy and prevention efforts.
Advocacy Challenge winners are:
- Colleen Ryan from Massachusetts General Hospital
- Heidi Altamirano, Mark Johnson & Jody Rood at Health Partners in MN
- Emily Eschelbach at Harborview in Washington
Prizes for winners include gift cards and they will be mailed to the winners shortly. Thanks again to all who participated and made sure the voices of burn care professionals and the patients and survivors they care for were represented in Washington last week.
If you weren’t able to participate but would like to get involved, it’s not too late to schedule a meeting with your Congressperson. Visit the ABA website for information on how to do this. Join the Advocacy Community if you would like to stay abreast of what is going on with the ABA’s advocacy efforts. We hope to see you in person at the next NLC in 2022!