ACEP’s Leadership & Advocacy Conference Reminds Us We Aren’t Alone

Sen. Maggie Hasan provides an update on mental health legislation during LAC23.

ACEP’s Annual Leadership & Advocacy Conference (LAC) was held April 30–May 2 in Washington, D.C. With Congressional offices finally back open for in-person meetings, more than 450 emergency physicians from 42 states were back in force in the nation’s Capitol to advocate for emergency physicians.

There was a palpable energy and great vibe to the whole meeting, which was literally standing room only for almost every session! Let’s be honest, being together matters. Given all of the challenges that we are facing in the ED, being able to share those experiences, and how we are feeling is really important. This LAC was a particularly empowering meeting, reminding us that we are not alone in fighting to improve for the things that make our professional lives and patient care better.

The Rhode Island contingent meets with Sen. Jack Reed. (Click to enlarge.)

The Emergency Medicine Residency Association (EMRA) and ACEP’s Young Physicians Section hosted their annual pre-conference Health Policy Primer, an event geared toward EM physicians who are new to policy and advocacy. They tried a new interactive format for 2023. After hearing about different aspects of the U.S. health care system from Drop the Mic presenters, attendees broke into small groups for an interactive design-thinking challenge to build an ideal health care system from scratch. A panel of experts discussed the pros and cons of each proposed system with the audience. It’s amazing how much energy and passion this half-day Policy Primer brings to the conference.

Attendees at the EMRA/YPS Health Policy Primer brainstorm ideal health care models in small groups. (Click to enlarge.)

This year’s Sunday program also included a meeting of the ACEP Council Steering Committee, a special Chapter Leaders Session, a meeting of the ACEP Board of Directors and a “wicked awesome” half-day conference entitled “Power Up: Women in Emergency Medicine Leadership” which was presented by ACEPs American Association of Women in Emergency Medicine (AAWEP).

In a keynote address to a packed room at ACEP’s DC headquarters, Dr. Dara Kass discussed her role with the Department of Health and Human Services and spoke to the passion and purpose she has gained from more than 20 years of serving on the front lines.

Panelists (L-R) Dorothea Lindquist, JD, Skye Perryman, JD, and Diana Nordlund, MD, JD, discuss the legal climate of Dobbs vs. EMTALA. (Click to enlarge.)