The most effective way to deliver your message to your member of Congress is to schedule her/his visits to your facility. The Catholic health care facility represents a community service, a place where constituents receive care, and a place where voters work. Let your representative and senators see this in action.
Steps for successful visits include the following:
Call the staff person responsible for scheduling the representative or senator. Contact the district or Washington office. You can call the U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121 and ask for your legislator's office.
Confirm the date, time, and plans by writing to the legislator directly. Send a copy of the letter to the district staff. Confirm again by phone with the legislator's scheduling secretary as the date of the meeting approaches.
- Set Goals
A major goal of the visit is to familiarize your congressional representative with your facility, its healing mission, its community benefits, and services so that he or she sees the facility as a credible source of information. Also, identify the clear policy message you want the legislator to take away and determine whether you want a commitment from your legislator on specific legislative activity.
- Plan Agenda
Plan and rehearse a detailed agenda of what you want to cover. This could consist of providing background about the facility, reporting on current services, and your policy message.
- Follow Up
After the visit, write to the legislator's Washington, DC, and district offices, reviewing the names of the persons present, the issues discussed, and what you want the member of Congress to do.