Advocacy Conference 2021 Recap

Conquering CHD held its annual Advocacy Conference from March 1-2, 2021. Check out the meeting summary, follow-up reminders for advocates, and video messages from CHD Champions on Capitol Hill.

Our 2021 conference had the highest number of attendees and most congressional visits ever! Congratulations on being a part of this record-breaking advocacy effort!

Policy Initiatives
Based on your feedback, we have gained a lot of traction on our key issues. This policy work will be slow-moving, as legislative work often is, but no less critical. We will certainly keep you informed as it takes shape over the next several months. You can help by staying in touch with your Members of Congress and their healthcare staff, keeping our work on top of the pile on their desks.

Post-Meeting Tasks for Conference Attendees
If you have not done so already, here are ways you can follow-up after last week’s Legislative meetings:

  • Send an email to the Staff you met with last week, thanking them for their time and willingness to listen to our stories and requests. Attach photos of yourself or your family member with CHD. Attach the full Policy Brief as a reminder of our asks. 
  • Send an email to your Member in the House of Representatives, attaching a copy of the Dear Colleague Letter which was issued 3/8/21. Ask them to support (“sign onto”) the letter. **This letter has been closed.**
  • Send an email to your Member in the Senate, attaching a copy of the Dear Colleague Letter which was issued on 4/27/21. Ask them to support (“sign onto”) the letter.
  • Complete any appropriations request forms or web links for your Legislator’s office. Sample language is available in the Documents tab on Soapbox Mobile Tool or you can email us for assistance completing appropriations request forms.      

Future Follow-Up Opportunities
There will be several opportunities to follow up in the next few months, and continuing those relationships are crucial to future advocacy efforts.

Congenital Heart Congressional Caucus – keep an eye out on our communication platforms (website, social media, e-newsletter) later this spring for an updated list of Caucus Members. An email to your Legislators thanking them or reminding them to join is an excellent follow-up opportunity.

You have submitted excellent questions since last week’s meeting. Look for the answers below, and email us new questions anytime.

  • I have the link to the Appropriations Request – now what? You will find the information you need in the Documents tab of the Soapbox Mobile Tool. It includes a sample form and the documents from which you can cut and paste. Give it a try and if you need any assistance, email us.
  • When will we know the dollar amount for FY2022 Congenital Heart Disease be announced? The normal budget process occurs throughout the spring, with budgets being voted on during the summer months. However, there has not been a typical budget process in as long as we can remember! The process begins with the Appropriations Subcommittees.  The Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) is the first to craft the budget for their program. Next it goes to the broader Appropriations Committees, one for the House and then one for the Senate. When Conquering CHD knows the approved dollar amount, we will be sure to let our advocates know.
  • How do I know if my Representative joined the Congenital Heart Congressional Caucus? Conquering CHD will obtain an updated Caucus list this Spring. We will communicate to advocates, so you may follow-up with a thank you or reminder to join email.
  • How can find the information presented at this year’s Meeting on Health Disparities? Visit our blog for a recap of the Health Disparities Meeting.

Conquering CHD will continue to update you on future policy initiatives, progress on current initiatives, and opportunities for follow-up with your Legislators. You can always reach us via email with any questions or concerns. 

Together, we are #ConqueringCHD!

We are so thankful to the 250+ advocates who joined us virtually for this year’s Advocacy Conference! If you were unable to attend but want more information, review our Take Action post and the recorded sessions below.

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