Frequently Asked Questions
I have never participated in National Advocacy Day. How does the event work?
The main event will take place on Monday, February 26, and Tuesday, February 27. It will start with a reception on Capitol Hill followed by a training briefing led by ASCA staff that will go over the details of the next day of meetings. All attendees will receive materials that include information on the members of Congress they will meet, their schedule for the following day and helpful tips to reference. The briefing also will go over best practices for congressional meetings and provide an overview of common discussion topics. Tuesday will be a full day of meetings on Capitol Hill. ASCA staff will schedule all meetings based on attendees’ geographic information included in registration.
How will we be divided into groups?
Groups will be determined by the state or region of the participant’s surgery center. Up to five people will travel together to Capitol Hill and between meetings. Each group will have a leader, either a member of ASCA staff or a state association leader.
I have never been to Capitol Hill. How will I get around?
Each group leader will be in charge of making sure everyone arrives on time for meetings. While the congressional buildings on Capitol Hill are large, it is walkable and relatively easy to get around, but security measures have increased and extra time might be needed to go through security screenings. Meetings will be spaced out to give each group time to travel to their next office destination.
ASCA will provide a digital map for directions. In addition, the Capitol Police can help point participants in the right direction and ASCA staff will always be available to help.
I have never met with my members of Congress. Who will I be meeting with? What do I say during meetings?
Each meeting will look a bit different as every office on Capitol Hill has their own processes. Sometimes, due to the voting schedule and the ever-changing nature of Congress, the legislator might not be able to make it to a meeting and will send their staff instead. Meeting with congressional staff is a vital component of advocacy and just as important as a member-level meeting. The staff choose the legislation their boss sees, and advise on and hold sway over how they should vote.
Meetings can also differ in length and location. Meetings might sometimes run shorter or longer than the scheduled time, be held in conference rooms or even in the hallway. It is important to go into each meeting with an open mind and be adaptable to last-minute changes. Even the shortest meeting can have a lasting impact on a member of Congress.
A participant’s role in each meeting will primarily be to speak about their surgery center and their day-to-day experience, coupled with an ask for support for the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023. They are not expected to know the answer to every question. Let a member of the ASCA staff know if a question requires a follow-up. ASCA staff follow up with each office after every meeting to address any outstanding questions, provide information about the legislation and thank them for their time.