Advocacy

Participating in Congressional Hearings

Being Selected to Testify
The staff and members of the various committees determine who they would like to have as witnesses based upon the expertise needed in a particular area, relationships with members of the committee, and political considerations. If you are interested in testifying at a hearing:

  • Let CHA and your system office know that you are interested in acting as a witness, should the occasion arise.
  • Call the committee staff and let them know of your expertise and interest.
  • Ask your representative or senator to approach the committee on your behalf.

If you are invited to testify before Congress, CHA and your system often can help in the preparation of your testimony and help you prepare for your oral presentation.

Preparing Written Testimony
Witnesses are required to submit written testimony to the committee before testifying. Your written statement should include:

  • An explanation of your position
  • Description of how the policy being discussed will help or hurt your community and health care facility
  • Recommendations for improvements or changes to the policy
  • Background on your expertise
  • A cover sheet with the name of the committee or subcommittee, the date of the hearing, and the topic of the hearing, along with your name, title, and address.

Presenting Oral Testimony
Prepare five minutes of talking points based on your written testimony and practice presenting your points without reading your written statement. The purpose of your oral testimony is to quickly make the strongest points in an interesting way so that members and staff will turn to your more detailed written statement for further information.

Legislators may ask you questions that you are not able to answer right away. In these cases, you may be asked to answer those questions for the record in a written response.