Oncology Nurses Will Storm Washington, DC, for Inaugural ONS Capitol Hill Days
Friday, September 9, 2016
More than 100 ONS members and staff will descend on Washington, DC, for the inaugural ONS Capitol Hill Days next week to prepare members to advocate for their profession, their colleagues, and their patients on a national scale.
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On September 14–15, 2016, more than 100 ONS members and staff will descend on Washington, DC, for the inaugural ONS Capitol Hill Days. This event will prepare attendees to advocate for their profession, their colleagues, and their patients on a national scale. These are important skills for oncology nurses to learn because their voices offer unique and impactful perspectives to policymakers.
“One of the important aspects of ONS as professional organization is that it has the capacity to advocate for the profession,” ONS President Susan Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, said. “At ONS we advocate for our mission to advance oncology nursing excellence and quality cancer care.”
As part of the event, participants will attend presentations on a number of different topics facing healthcare policy. Speakers will include members from National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Cancer Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with industry insiders and healthcare policy experts.
On September 14, the group will visit the White House to meet with Anabella Aspiras, MPA, RN, BSN, member of the National Cancer Moonshot taskforce, to discuss the Moonshot and the role oncology nurses will play in its progression. ONS has supported the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative since it was announced in early 2016, and this invitation to the White House is an acknowledgement of all the hard work and commitment that ONS and its members have provided.
ONS members will also attend a health policy crash course that aims to educate them on the best way to meet with their members of Congress, how to approach the important issues facing nursing, and how to lobby for matters significant to them. On September 15, members will spend a day meeting with U.S. representatives from their respective states to discuss issues facing the nursing profession and obstacles facing the patients they treat.
“Advocacy is at the heart of what nurses do. Coming to Washington and speaking truth to power is an incredible commitment to helping positively change healthcare for the better,” Alec Stone, MA, MPA, ONS health policy director, said. “ONS continues to be a leader in the cancer and provider communities. Nurses are the most trusted healthcare providers because they are honest, and that resonates on Capitol Hill.”
ONS Capitol Hill Days is focused on enacting change on a large scale by creating a new collective of oncology nurse advocates from ONS chapters across the country. Hopefully, members will return to their chapters energized and ready to share the wealth of knowledge they’ve obtained from their time in DC. By providing members with the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their patients, ONS hopes they will get involved on all levels of politics to help direct the trajectory of cancer care in the future.