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11/27/2018 » 3/31/2019
FPS 2019 Spring EXPO

3/29/2019 » 3/31/2019
FPS 2019 Spring CME Meeting

Florida Psychiatric Society’s Legislative Key Contact Program
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Florida Psychiatric Society’s Legislative Key Contact Program

The practice of psychiatry is under assault by psychologists in Florida who seek prescriptive authority. Following a trend seen in at least a dozen other states, Florida psychologists are currently lobbying our state legislature to pass a bill allowing for psychologists to prescribe medications to patients. In order to thwart this on-going effort, the Florida Psychiatric Society (FPS) needs psychiatrists throughout Florida to actively engage to confront and oppose the psychologists’ lobbying effort head-on.

FPS is working collaboratively with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to organize a comprehensive lobbying, grassroots and media effort focused on the key messages of patient safety, the criticality of medical/science-based training and the overall complexity of prescribing medications to patients. The best and most effective messengers in this lobbying effort are psychiatrists themselves. FPS has a grassroots team ready to involve psychiatrists around the state in this lobbying effort. All we need are psychiatrists who wish to protect their profession. Our lobbying team in Tallahassee, Metz, Husband & Daughton (MHD), is directly assisting the FPS in this effort. Aimee Diaz Lyon and Patricia Greene with the MHD Team will serve as our day-to-day points of contact for this important effort. Please contact Margo Adams margo@floridapsych.org or Patricia at MHD, patricia.greene@MHDFirm.com, if you are willing to join the effort to help protect your profession. Following are three key areas where the FPS needs your direct help

  1. Meet with Key Legislators in Their House/Senate Districts

FPS has targeted key legislators around the state who sit on the various health care committees in the legislature. It is imperative that a local psychiatrist or a small group of psychiatrists from those legislators’ hometowns meet with their legislator and discuss the importance of psychiatry and the reason why allowing psychologists prescriptive authority is a dangerous precedent for patients.

A psychiatrist who agrees to an in-district meeting with their legislator will have material and talking points at his/her disposal. The APA has already developed important messages that help to better educate legislators. The psychiatrist will also be fully briefed about the legislator with biographical information and issues of importance. Moreover, in almost all cases the psychiatrist will be joined by a member of the MHD lobby team or FPS staff.

The timing of these meetings will be this fall, between the months of September and December. These are the months leading up to the 2018 Legislative Session which begins on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

  1. Agree to be “On-Call” for a Trip to Tallahassee

For a few weeks this fall during the interim legislative committee meetings in Tallahassee, and when the legislative session officially begins in January, bills such as psychologist prescribing will be heard and voted by on legislative committees. Psychiatrists need to be in Tallahassee to meet with legislators who will vote on a psychologist prescribing bill and to briefly testify in opposition to the bill in committee. Again, any psychiatrist who agrees to travel to Tallahassee and engage the legislature will be fully briefed and escorted by the MHD/FPS lobby team.

Because the agenda of the legislative committee meetings is typically not released until a few days prior to the meeting time, FPS needs psychiatrists who agree to hold one day – a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – on their schedule to be available for a trip to Tallahassee during legislative committee weeks and the legislative session. FPS will work with each psychiatrist to identify a date that works on his/her schedule, and will notify the psychiatrist three days in advance if he/she does not need to visit Tallahassee on that particular day.

  1. “Doctor of the Day Program”

An adjunct option to the “on-call” program is for a psychiatrist to serve as “Doctor of the Day” in Tallahassee. The Doctor of the Day program started in the 1960’s by a former House member, Representative Walter Sackett, MD from Miami. He encouraged physicians to serve in Tallahassee each day of the Regular Legislative Session. Physicians who are willing to spend a day in Tallahassee during the session perform an invaluable service by providing health care for members of the legislature and legislative employees. In addition, this program continues to be a vital component in improving and strengthening physician-legislator relations. The legislature needs two physicians for each day of the 60-day legislative session, one for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate.

While serving as Doctor of the Day, you would also have the opportunity to visit with key legislators and to attend legislative committee meetings. You will be fully briefed in the same manner as above. The timing of the Doctor of the Day program is from January 9, 2018 through March 9, 2018. Historically, many FPS members have participated in the Doctor of the Day program and found the experience extremely rewarding.

Again, if you are willing to join the effort to help protect your profession, please contact me at margo@floridapsych.org OR patricia.greene@MHDFirm.com indicating your interest in any or all of these grassroots components. Once we receive your response, we will email you back within 24-hours to begin the scheduling process.

Thank you for your consideration of this vital component to our efforts.

Margo Adams, Executive Director, Florida Psychiatric Society

margo@floridapsych.org, (800) 521-7465

 

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