National Advocacy Event on the Hill
Make a Difference.
JULY 26-27, 2020
For the millions of Americans living with the debilitating and sometimes life-threatening symptoms of a functional gastrointestinal or motility disorder (FGIMD), the fight for awareness, research into safe and effective treatments, and cures are ongoing.
But Members of Congress can help.
IFFGD's National Advocacy Event on the Hill will be a two-day event bringing together advocates from across the nation — patients, family members and friends, and health care providers. This is an opportunity to connect with other advocates; learn how patients and caregivers can engage with Federal agencies to help shape research, drug development, and approval; share personal stories of how you have been impacted by a FGIMD; and educate key policymakers in Washington about the needs of the millions of Americans affected.
Together, we can make the voice of the digestive health community heard and encourage Congress to prioritize actions that will lead to greater awareness and the development of new treatment options and cures.
An Advocacy Training Program will be held on Sunday, July 26th and will include professional and patient community speakers.
Monday, July 27th will start with a breakfast and legislative briefing before we begin our day on Capitol Hill advocating to Congress.
More information will be announced soon!
Whether you are living with a FGIMD or you know someone who is, you understand the true impact of these conditions on those affected and the need for greater research funding for treatments and cures. IFFGD's National Advocacy Event on the Hill is an opportunity for you to share this impact with your elected officials and advocate alongside others just like you.
Sunday, July 26th
More details to come!
Monday, July 27th
More details to come!
Will I be meeting with Members of Congress alone?
No. You will be placed in a group with other advocates from your state or region. You will not have to conduct your visits alone, even if there is no one else from your state attending.
Who will I meet with?
When possible, we will try to make appointments with your legislators — your two US Senators and your US House Representative. However, these individuals lead very busy days and they may not be available to meet with you in person. If your Representative is not available, the meeting will be scheduled with the member of his or her staff concerned with matters of health policy. Meetings with staff representatives are just as important as meetings with the actual legislator, as staff help to identify legislative priorities for their bosses.
Can I set up my own appointments with Members of Congress?
No. To avoid confusion and redundancy, we ask that you do not contact any Congressional offices directly to arrange meetings. If you have a special connection with individual Members of Congress or their staff, please let us know and we will take that into account when arranging meetings.
Will I be able to go on Congressional visits with my family or friends from other parts of the country?
Members of Congress are primarily concerned with the interests and issues presented to them by their constituents, so it's important that each participant is present during meetings with their elected officials. However, you and your family and friends will have opportunities to spend time together during training and at meals.
How do I get to and from meetings?
Ground transportation to and from Capitol Hill from the hotel will be provided by IFFGD. Once there, you will head to your Congressional meetings. Meetings with US Senators will take place in three buildings located at the north side of the Capitol (Russell, Dirksen, and Hart buildings). Meetings with US Members of the House of Representatives will take place in three buildings located at the south side of the Capitol (Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon buildings). You will be provided with a map of the Capitol to help you find your meeting locations.
Entrances to government buildings are protected with security screenings. These are similar to screenings encountered at airports, and you will need to remove any metal on your person to pass through the screening. If you have a medical device, the security personnel can help you through the screenings. Also, please keep in mind that you may need a photo ID for some meetings.
What is the dress code for Advocacy Day?
Attendees will be given t-shirts to wear for the event. These will help you identify other participants and make our event visible to others on Capitol Hill.
The weather can fluctuate, so we encourage you to dress in layers and check the forecast ahead of the event. You will be doing a lot of walking, so please plan to wear comfortable footwear.
Will IFFGD be able to accommodate my dietary restrictions?
As a digestive health foundation, we understand that many participants will have special dietary restrictions or requirements. We will work with you to make sure that your dietary needs are met during the course of the event.
I would like to spend time touring the city. Can I arrive prior to the event or stay afterward?
Absolutely! We encourage you to take advantage of your time in Washington, DC. Many of the museums located along the National Mall west of the Capitol are free to the public.
IFFGD has long been a voice on the Hill. By educating key policymakers and regulators in Washington, we have been able to bolster National awareness and elevate the research portfolios for FGIMDs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other Federally-funded research institutions.
We thank you for your participation in Advocacy Day 2020 and look forward to future Advocacy Events!