The Florida Chapter of the American College of Surgeons is the primary voice for surgeons in the state of Florida and its members realize that democracy is not a spectator sport. In our nation, public health professionals play a significant role in decision-making processes and policy formation. As members of the public health community, Florida Chapter members' involvement in the policy-formation process is essential. The Florida Chapter, in coordination with its members, works with key policymakers to shape policy that addresses today's ongoing public health concerns, like:
- Ensuring access to quality health care for all Florida residents.
- Reducing health care providers' administrative burdens.
- Advancing continued medical liability reforms.
- Improving financing of health care for private and government payers.
- Demanding direct payment of physicians by insurance companies regardless of the physician's "network affiliation."
Below are some simple things that Florida Chapter members can do to have a positive effect on Florida's public policy formation.
The Florida Chapter vigorously advocates on important public health issues year round. Your participation will help because legislators listen to what their constituents have to say — constituents, after all, are a legislator's first priority.
The following resources will provide you with all of the information and materials you need to contact your policymakers and be successful in your advocacy efforts.
How a Bill Becomes Law
Tips for Meeting With Your Elected Officials
Tips for Communicating With Legislators
Ten Things Legislative Staff Hate to Hear
Tips for Writing Your Policymaker
Advocacy "Do's and Don'ts"
Please remember you are not alone in your advocacy efforts. The Chapter Executive Office can assist you every step of the way! Let us know how we can help you.
Follow these simple steps to locate your policymaker.
- Type your zip code into the "Write Your Legislators" box to the right (make sure you do this for both your home and where you practice because the elected leaders may differ) and click "Go".
- You will be transferred to the Surgery State Legislative Action Center. This page shows a partial list of elected officials who represent you. To obtain additional elected officials, you must enter your address. (Remember, home and practice addresses may produce different legislators. You are encouraged to check both addresses.) Click on “Go”.
- After pressing “Go”, a list of your state senators and state representatives, along with your congressional representative are listed. Other links to government agencies and local governments are also listed at the bottom of this page.
- If you click on one of your elected officials, you are taken to a page that offers a short biography, a contact page, and listing of committees they serve on.
- Make your voice heard on surgical issues that you feel are important.
Locating and familiarizing yourself with your representatives is the first step in changing the medical-political landscape. Start today!
Christopher Nuland, Florida Chapter's lobbyist, continues to work diligently to ensure that the voices of Florida's Surgeons are heard in policy debates taking place in Tallahassee. If you have any questions or concerns about issues before the Florida General Assembly, contact Chris at (904) 355-1555.
The Executive Office is always ready to assist you as well and can be contacted toll-free at (877) 310-7316.
American College of Surgeons National Advocacy Initiatives
See what advocacy efforts are being followed at the federal level by visiting the American College of Surgeons Advocacy and Health Policy Portal.