Read endorsements from Neurology on the Hill participants.

Hear from an

Academy Fellow

"I have been going to Neurology on the Hill for the last several years. However, 2012 was special because from the usual two-member group representing Utah, this year the number jumped up to six people in our group including one neurologist in solo private practice, one hospital-based neurologist, two University of Utah faculty members, as well as two neurology residents.

We represented practically the entire spectrum of the neurology practice. We also happened to represent all of our three Utah districts.

Another reason that made this visit special was that we were able to visit in person with Congressman Jim Matheson, Congressman Rob Bishop, and Senator Orrin Hatch. We also had a very productive discussion with the staff of the remaining two Utah representatives, Congressman Jason Chaffitz and Senator Mike Lee.

I want to thank the American Academy of Neurology for organizing the Neurology on the Hill program, thus providing us with a platform to communicate with our representatives in Washington D.C.

Also I would like to acknowledge all the hard work by the advocacy staff at the Academy. Not only do they help us bring to the table issues important to Neurology, but through their extensive research, they also provide us with possible solutions to these issues, which I believe makes the discussions with our legislators that much more effective."

- Awais Riaz, MD


"For the past two years, I have been able to participate in Neurology on the Hill as a member of the California delegation. I was able to meet our state and federal congressional representatives and had the opportunity to discuss advocacy issues on Capitol Hill.

As a pediatric neurology resident, Neurology on the Hill  has been incredibly unique in that it exposed me to how the AAN works to advance neurology related and patient care related issues with our lawmakers. Additionally, I was introduced to some of state and federal issues affecting colleagues in other practice settings. Finally, my experience with this event has provided a unique platform to network with other neurologists interested in similar advocacy issues and ultimately led to the development of an advocacy project at my home institution.

Understanding the advocacy issues present in the field of neurology and how to properly lobby for change has been amazing as an introduction to governmental relations in medicine. Neurology on the Hill has provided me with a platform to become a physician-advocate with the goal of advancing patient care and our field.

I look forward to continuing to participate in Neurology on the Hill and other advocacy events through the AAN."

 - Jonathan Santoro, MD

Active Member

"This past year, I had the opportunity to participate in my second Neurology on the Hill as a member of the Connecticut delegation. We met with our congressional representatives in order to advocate for neurology and improve care for our patients.

As a highlight, we had the opportunity to meet with Representative Chris Murphy (D-CT) in the House chamber, while critical votes on healthcare were occurring. This was a very exciting experience for our delegation!

Over the past five months, we have maintained our contacts from the day on the Hill, and continue to correspond when AAN legislative alerts occur.

The recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affirmed that the health care system will continue to evolve over the next decade.

It is critical that we, as neurologists, be recognized for the essential care that we provide as new legislation is drafted. Neurology on the Hill has provided a platform for us to meet with our legislators, and it is already clear that our advocating efforts have improved care for our patients.

I look forward to continuing to participate in Neurology on the Hill for many upcoming years."

- Nicholas A. Blondin, MD

Active Member

"Our own Florida contingent met with the staff of six Representatives, five of whom were available thanks to members of our group being from their district, and another who was gracious enough to hear us when we just dropped by.

We left behind Academy materials on the critical role of the neurologist in health care and our key issues at four additional offices. We also met staff of our two Florida Senators. At the end of the day we were physically exhausted, but proud of having shown up to have our voices heard on Capitol Hill."

- Glen Finney, MD

Active Member

"The Massachusetts contingent, eight persons strong, met with the health aides to Senators Kerry and Brown. We had a chance to speak briefly with Senator Brown in the hallway to recap what we had spoken about with his aide.

We then divided and conquered, meeting with Representatives Barney Frank, James McGovern, and others. We discussed with them the need for more neurologists in the United States and the need for incentives for medical students to choose neurology as a career.

To that end we asked for their support in having neurology added to the list of cognitive care physicians who are to receive increased reimbursement for E/M services.

I like to think that our meetings played some small part in the recent introduction of the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act, sponsored by Representatives Allyson Schwartz (D-PA ) and Joe Heck (R-NV), a provision of which would increase the number of cognitive specialties receiving increased reimbursement.

During our orientation session we were told that each year we meet face-to-face with an increasing number of representatives and senators directly. This is a sign that the AAN is a presence on Capitol Hill and a group to be dealt with seriously."

- Janice Wiesman, MD

Active Member

"It was 2009, the year when the conversation about health care reform began in earnest, which elicited an exciting dynamic of camaraderie and facilitated networking amongst Academy neurologists from all over the country.

When I went with the other delegation members from New York State to visit with our various representatives' and senators' health legislative aides, I found them to be highly responsive. For example, we spoke with Ronald Hikel, senior staff and health policy aide to former New York Rep. Eric Massa for 15 minutes about the need to develop a registry for patients with Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis (MS).

We outlined in our proposal what we would require from the registry and asked if Rep. Massa would be willing to co-sponsor the legislation. Just a few hours later, while waiting at the airport to go home, Hikel e-mailed to say the congressman decided to co-sponsor the legislation. The fact that a short conversation could make an important impact for a Parkinson or MS patient really left a lasting impression on me."

- Melissa Ko, MD

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