By Pamela Murphy, AACOM Senior Vice President of Government Relations
In early 2016, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) launched the ED to MED campaign with one important goal—to present a unified voice in the halls of Congress on higher education policies impacting graduate students and the future health care workforce. Since then, the ED to MED campaign has grown tremendously, gaining support from 18 national organizations working together to advance policies that positively impact patients.
Now we’re in 2018, and with a new year comes new challenges for our community. As Congress continues to deliberate the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), it is vital for our community of supporters to stand up and urge their Members of Congress to preserve the federal programs that encourage and enable students to pursue careers in public service and health care. Both the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and the Grad PLUS Loan Programs play a critical role in achieving that goal and enabling the future health care workforce to provide care for patients across the country.
On Thursday, September 27, the ED to MED community has a unique opportunity to advance the voice of current and future health professionals and make a strong impact with our upcoming Virtual Hill Day and COM Day on Capitol Hill 2018 (#COMDAY18). On this special day of action, participants will meet with their elected officials in Washington to emphasize the importance of federal financial aid programs and health care workforce funding to the osteopathic medical education (OME) community, and advocates from across the country will simultaneously raise their voices on social media during our Virtual Hill Day.
Want a sneak peak at what to expect on #COMDAY18? Take a look at what our advocates said during last year’s COM Day, and get ready to add your own voice to the crowd:
— Alyssa Ritchie (@AlyssaMRitch) March 8, 2017
— Fritz Stine (@FStineVI) March 9, 2017
— Farrah Rink (@FarrahRink) March 8, 2017
Whether you’re on Capitol Hill or on social media, YOU are making a difference in the lives of students, patients, and communities nationwide when you participate in #COMDAY18. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get involved:
- Encourage your colleagues to join ED to MED. Our voices are our strength, and by recruiting fellow members of the health care workforce, our impact grows.
- Share your story to help #SavePSLF and #SaveGradPLUS! To our dedicated health professions advocates and the patients they serve, these programs are critical. We want to hear why! On COM Day, make sure to use #COMDAY18 to advocate for these policies by sharing your story.
- Find your representatives in Congress and send them a message via email or social media letting them know what policy issues are important to you.
- Add the #COMDAY18 Facebook Frame to your profile. Show your pride in ED to MED and the future health care workforce, and encourage your friends to join the movement!
Our Hill Day one-pager has all the details you need to help our community raise a unified voice on #COMDAY18. Use this as your one-stop guide for all things advocacy as we show Congress the many faces and voices of the OME and health professions community.
We’re looking forward to seeing you during our annual Virtual Hill Day and COM Day on Capitol Hill. ED to MED makes an impact because of advocates like you. Now, it’s time to inform Congress about the policies that make a difference for medical students, health professionals, and patients across America.