What the health?

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2/9/19

What the health?

The Adventist Health Policy Association has opened a permanent office in Washington, D.C., meeting with congressional staff and federal agencies in the hopes of having a “meaningful impact in crafting and advancing a whole-person, patient-focused national health care agenda that includes strong input into the policies and issues affecting our health-care system.” Each year, AHPA will choose 3-5 strategic goals to focus on with an emphasis on disease prevention, human wholeness, and value-based care.

You’re playing with the big boys now

The Adventist Health Policy Association (AHPA) is an affiliation of five of the largest Adventist healthcare systems. It was created to advance policy and advocacy priorities for more than 90 hospitals and more than 350 other provider organizations across 17 states. The systems’ CEOs make up the association’s board of directors, representing Adventist Health, Adventist HealthCare, Kettering Health Network, Loma Linda University Health, and the newly rebranded AdventHealth.

Location, location, location

In the past, AHPA members have made trips to Washington, D.C. for “Advocacy Day.” Recently, the organization decided that having a permanent presence in D.C. was necessary in order to fully participate in the conversation and process of health-care policy making. Carlyle Walton, former president of Metroplex Health System, became president of AHPA in July, 2018. His new office is near the U.S. Capitol (where he plans to spend most of his time), so he will be representing AHPA in D.C.

What are people saying?

There is excitement within the Adventist health care community. Loma Linda University Health president Richard Hart says, “We are establishing clear objectives for helping to shape the federal agenda.” Beyond the church, reaction is mixed. Politico was generous, emphasizing Adventist priorities of community benefit and palliative care. Rewire.News was skeptical, after digging into Adventists’ past statements regarding reproductive healthcare, abortion, and transgender care. Ted Wilson also fielded questions from non-Adventist media about the church’s position on abortion during his trip to Jamaica last week. There is a lot of interest regarding exactly which priorities Adventists will be advocating for when they visit the Hill.

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