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AGA leaders advocate for gastroenterology on Capitol Hill

More than 40 AGA leaders took to Capitol Hill to urge their legislators to address administrative burdens, CRC screening cost-sharing concerns and increase digestive disease research funding. 

AGA leaders from across the U.S. took to Capitol Hill last Friday as part of AGA’s annual Advocacy Day to advocate for our profession. The event had 40 AGA members in attendance from 17 states. Members met with 54 congressional offices to educate and ask for their support of the Safe Step Act (HR2279), the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (HR1570/S668), the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (HR3107), and increasing NIH funding for FY 2020

In preparation for Advocacy Day, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO, and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA, met with participants to discuss the political landscape on Capitol Hill and to discuss some of the timely legislative issues impacting physicians, patients and practices. Blunt, who is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, discussed the importance of ensuring NIH has long-term, sustainable funding. McGovern spoke about his work as the founder of the Food as Medicine Working Group and his passion for nutrition education. Both Blunt and McGovern stressed the importance of grassroots advocacy and using your expertise as physicians and researchers to educate your legislators.

Sheila Crowe, MD, AGAF, Peter Kaufman, MD, AGAF, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA

Past-AGA President, Sheila Crowe, MD, AGAF, and Peter Kaufman, MD, AGAF, speak with Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA, during AGA’s Advocacy Day dinner.

Unable to attend the in-person event? You can still engage with your lawmakers. Use AGA’s fast and easy online advocacy tool to send letters to your members of Congress and CMS about the policy issues highlighted during Advocacy Day.

A special thanks to all the 2019 Advocacy Day participants. You’re continued leadership and engagement in AGA’s advocacy efforts ensures our profession remains strong and well represented on Capitol Hill and locally.

Aline Charabaty Pishvaian, MD Folasade Popoola May, MD, PhD, MPhil Nicole Tsein Shen, MD
Amit Patel, MD Ibironke Oduyebo, MD Otis Stephen, MD, AGAF
Animesh Jain, MD Jennifer Maratt, MD Peter Kaufman, MD, AGAF
Anisa Shaker, MD Jill May Hoffman, PhD Peter Liang, MD, MPH
Anne Finefrock Peery, MD Joel Judah, MD, AGAF Raj Shah, MD
Aylin Tansel, MD, MPH Kim Barrett, PhD, AGAF Ranjan Mascarenhas, MBBS, MD
Benjamin Lee Cohen, MD Lena Brice Palmer, MD MSCR Rebecca Matro, MD
Bertha Toriz, MD Lisa Gangarosa, MD, AGAF Robert Brown, Jr., MD, MPH, AGAF
Chioma Antonia Ihunnah Anjou, MD, MPH Maged Rizk, MD Sadeea Qureshi Abbasi, MD, PhD
Cynthia Yoshida, MD, AGAF Mayra Janet Sanchez, MD Sarah Streett, MD, AGAF
Dale Bachwich, MD Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF  
David Asher Leiman, MD, MSHP Miguel Malespin, MD  

AGA advocacy support

AGA staff is here to support your advocacy needs. Ready to learn more about AGA’s Congressional Advocates Program, how to connect with your legislators or advocate for your profession locally? Contact Jonathan Sollish, AGA’s senior public policy coordinator at [email protected] or visit for more information. 

See pictures of members in action on Instagram and Facebook. Follow stories from Advocacy Day on Twitter with #AGAadvocacy.

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