On September 22–24, 2019, Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) will hold its Fourth Annual Capitol Hill Days in Washington, DC. The three-day education and advocacy event will prepare more than 100 oncology nurses to work with elected officials on health policy issues important to their patients and profession. Capitol Hill Days encourages nurses to be advocates and leaders in their communities and in their practice by helping ONS make a real difference in the national healthcare conversation.
ONS members will learn about important health policy issues in cancer care and how to effectively communicate their expertise and experience with lawmakers. Their visit to the capitol will culminate in carrying their messages to elected officials from their home districts. To kick off Hill Days, nurses attend an opening ceremony and reception on Sunday evening, followed by a day of engaging advocacy education and training on Monday. They conclude with one-on-one congressional meetings throughout the day on Tuesday.
“Oncology nurses use these skills every time they advocate on behalf of their patients for quality cancer care with other healthcare providers and policy makers,” ONS President Laura Fennimore, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, said. “ONS Hill Days provides an opportunity for ONS members to tell their stories and share key messages about the need to support palliative care education, parity for oral cancer therapies, and funding for nursing education and research.”
In preparation for their congressional meetings, policy experts, government officials, nurse leaders, and the ONS advocacy and health policy team will brief participants on the current political environment. Some of the planned topics include palliative care, oral drug parity, and care planning. In addition, nurses will hear from "inside-the-Beltway" pundits about insight on issues such as access to opioids, drug cost legislation, Medicare reform, tobacco cessation, workforce safety, and federal funding for research.
“Nurses are the most trusted professionals in the United States. When they speak, decision makers listen,” Alec Stone, MA, MPA, ONS public affairs director, said. “ONS is a powerful partner in the cancer community, and taking our policy agenda to Washington, DC, makes an incredible statement about patient-centered care from the oncology nurse.”
ONS is a professional association of more than 35,000 members committed to promoting excellence in oncology nursing and the transformation of cancer care. Since 1975, ONS has provided a professional community for oncology nurses, developed evidence-based education programs and treatment information, and advocated for patient care, all in an effort to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer and their families. Learn more at www.ons.org.