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ACCP Report

Washington Report

Clinical Pharmacists on Capitol Hill, Part 2: ACCP DC-Area Chapter Annual Advocacy Day

Written by John McGlew
Director of Government Affairs

On March 21, 2024, ACCP’s Government Affairs office welcomed clinical pharmacists from the DC-Area College of Clinical Pharmacy (DCCCP) for the annual Capitol Hill Lobby Day. Building on the office’s experience holding virtual lobby days during the pandemic, for the first time, the 2024 event was made available to members as an in-person/virtual hybrid effort.

The group was led by Lisa Peters, Pharm.D., Clinical Specialist Pharmacist, Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Peters received her Pharm.D. degree from the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy and completed her pharmacy practice residency at the Richmond Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Peters is a former president of the DC Chapter and has organized the DCCCP Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill for over a decade.

The DCCCP represents members from across the Washington metropolitan area, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. On Wednesday evening before the event, the group convened an online training and preparatory session to ensure all attendees were fully briefed.

Left to Right: Lisa Peters, Pharm.D., Clinical Specialist Pharmacist, Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant at MedStar Washington Hospital Center; Saad Shaafi, Pharm.D. Candidate (2025), VCU School of Pharmacy; John McGlew, ACCP Senior Director, Government Affairs.

The group met in person on Thursday morning at ACCP’s Washington, D.C., offices for an overview of ACCP’s advocacy platform, the current legislative environment, and the congressional lobbying process. From there, they made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the Hart Senate Building on Capitol Hill to begin a full schedule of afternoon meetings with the Senate offices representing Maryland and Virginia:

Although staff in these offices are already familiar with ACCP’s Medicare initiative, the importance of directly engaging these active ACCP members in the political process cannot be overstated, whether in Washington, D.C., or back home when Congress is in recess.

Consistent with ACCP’s advocacy priorities, the lobbying visits focused on ACCP’s efforts to establish Medicare coverage for comprehensive clinical pharmacy services as part of a broader reform of Medicare payment policy. In addition, with Congress focused on developing policy solutions to address the opioid crisis, the group took the opportunity to urge the full integration of clinical pharmacists into patient-centered health care teams to help ensure the safe, rational prescribing and use of opioids.

Overall, the 2024 DCCCP Capitol Hill Lobby Day was a successful return to in-person advocacy after shifting to an online event during the pandemic. ACCP would like to thank the leadership of the DC Chapter for their hard work and commitment to the College’s advocacy agenda. Any ACCP chapter or individual member interested in visiting Washington to lobby on Capitol Hill should contact ACCP’s Washington office, where your advocacy efforts can be facilitated and supported.