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2019 AADA Legislative Conference Recap

On September 8-10, the AADA held its 2019 annual Legislative Conference at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., where more than 200 participants from 36 states advocated on issues affecting dermatology and our patients. 

The conference is the specialty’s foremost meeting focused on legislative, regulatory, and political issues that affect dermatology. Dermatologists have the unique opportunity to hear from health policy experts, discuss dermatology issues with colleagues, attend advocacy training taught by D.C. insiders, and become the trusted and influential voice members of Congress can rely on.

The event featured keynote speaker Michael A. Smerconish and congressional speakers Rep. John Joyce, MD, FAAD (R-PA-13), and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7).

Leg conference attendees with Michael Smerconish
Conference attendees with Michael Smerconish on Sunday evening

Conference attendees traveled to Capitol Hill and met with 157 House of Representatives offices and 71 Senate offices to discuss legislation that would address rising pharmaceutical costs, avert the pending Medicare payment freeze for physicians, and promote skin cancer prevention and increase access to sunscreen. Of the 228 congressional meetings, 84 were member-level meetings that included either the senator or representative.

Leg conference attendees with Rep. John Joyce, MD, FAAD
Conference attendees with Rep. John Joyce, MD, FAAD (R-PA-13) on Capitol Hill.

Social media highlights

leg conference twitter post
Attendees were encouraged to post about their experiences and meetings on social media using this hashtag: #AADAOnTheHill. On Twitter, the hashtag was used in more than 90 tweets, which generated more than 300k impressions. On Instagram, the hashtag was used in more than 45 posts.  

Grassroots efforts

AADA members that could not attend the conference were invited to participate in a “Virtual Fly-In” by sending a letter to their members of Congress about the specialty’s legislative asks. About 200 letters were sent by more than 60 AADA members.

The Academy placed full-page ads (PDF download) in Politico and The Hill on Tuesday, September 10, to echo attendees’ efforts on Capitol Hill and highlight dermatologists as key partners in health care. 

For questions about the Legislative Conference, review the FAQs or email AADA staff, Christian Miller, at