The North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Surgeons is the primary voice for surgeons in the state of North Carolina and its members realize that democracy is not a spectator sport. In our nation, public health professionals play a significant role in decision-making processes and policy formation. As members of the public health community, North Carolina Chapter members’ involvement in the policy-formation process is essential. Click here to access the official website for the North Carolina General Assembly. Use this web site as a tool to track bills, find and communicate with your state House and Senate members, and to follow chamber activity, meetings and issues before the General Assembly.
Additionally, the American College of Surgeons has created a custom report to help you track legislation in the NC General Assembly related specially to surgery, cancer, healthcare and injury prevention.
The North Carolina Chapter, in coordination with its members, works with key policymakers to shape policy that addresses today’s ongoing public health concerns, like:
- Ensuring access to quality health care for all North Carolinians.
- Reducing health care providers’ administrative burdens.
- Advancing continued medical liability reforms.
- Improving financing of health care for private and government payers.
- Demanding direct payment of physicians by insurance companies regardless of the physician’s “network affiliation.”
Below are some simple things that North Carolina Chapter members can do to have a positive effect on North Carolina’s public policy formation
NC-ACS Board Votes to Oppose HB 36
At the request of the North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, the NC-ACS Board voted to officially oppose NC HB 36 which significantly expands the scope of practice of optometry into the practice of medicine/surgery. ACS Executive Director, Dr. David Hoyt has written letters to the NC House and Senate leadership, on behalf of the ACS, opposing HB 36. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Hoyt’s letter to the NC House and Senate Leadership. Click here to read Dr. Hoyt’s letter in its entirety.
In the interest of patient safety and maintaining the highest standards of surgical care, the American College of Surgeons believes that the types of procedures permitted in HB 36 should only be performed by a licensed Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who meet appropriate education, training and professional standards. Enactment of HB 36 would expand the scope of optometry beyond an optometrists’ training and education to include the practice of medicine and, as defined in the ACS statement, the practice of surgery. As such, the ACS strongly urges you to protect patient safety for North Carolina citizens and oppose HB 36.
Visit the SafeSurgeryNC website to learn more and take immediate action.
Advocacy Resource Center
The North Carolina Chapter vigorously advocates on important public health issues year round. Your participation will help because legislators listen to what their constituents have to say — constituents, after all, are a legislator’s first priority. The following resources will provide you with all of the information and materials you need to contact your policymakers and be successful in your advocacy efforts.
American College of Surgeons National Advocacy Initiatives
See what advocacy efforts are being followed at the federal level by visiting the American College of Surgeons Advocacy and Health Policy Portal.
Why Should You Give to SurgeonsPAC?
The political climate in Washington may change but one thing remains constant: our patients will always need surgery and surgeons. The ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is nonpartisan, supporting both Democrat and Republican U.S. House and Senate candidates for Congress who share the College’s commitment to quality, affordable, accessible patient care. SurgeonsPAC needs a strong voice on Capitol Hill to ensure our profession and patients remain a top priority. SurgeonsPAC brings a national focus to local issues, so it is important to stay involved at both the local and the national levels.With our upcoming advocacy day in Washington, and several other ongoing physician payment, GME, HIT/data, cancer, trauma, liability reform and workforce initiatives the College is actively working to promote, we have a unique opportunity to expand our presence this election cycle via further engagement in the College’s advocacy and political efforts. While less than 3% of College members contribute to SurgeonsPAC, the potential to grow our market share and remain competitive among other medical PACs is great. Contributions to SurgeonsPAC are completely voluntary and any/all dollar amounts are appreciated and welcomed. I invite you to join, or renew, your SurgeonsPAC contribution today as a win for our PAC is a win for your patient. Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may only use your contribution to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Follow these simple steps to locate your policymaker.
- Type your zip code into the “Write Your Legislators” box to the right (make sure you do this for both your home and where you practice because the elected leaders may differ) and click “Go”.
- You will be transferred to the Surgery State Legislative Action Center. This page shows a partial list of elected officials who represent you. To obtain additional elected officials, you must enter your address. (Remember, home and practice addresses may produce different legislators. You are encouraged to check both addresses.) Click on “Go”.
- After pressing “Go”, a list of your state senators and state representatives, along with your congressional representative are listed. Other links to government agencies and local governments are also listed at the bottom of this page.
- If you click on one of your elected officials, you are taken to a page that offers a short biography, a contact page, and listing of committees they serve on.
- Make your voice heard on surgical issues that you feel are important.
Locating and familiarizing yourself with your representatives is the first step in changing the medical-political landscape. Start today!