Behind the Scenes | Monday, March 19, 2018
DDNC Public Policy Forum Q&A With Eileen Babb
The Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC) Public Policy Forum brings together patients, healthcare providers, industry representatives, lawmakers and their legislative staff for two days of educational programs, legislative updates and advocacy training. The main objective is to brief participants from around the country on federal healthcare legislation and policy and provide the opportunity to educate members of Congress on issues of concern to the digestive disease community.
In an effort to increase SGNA’s representation at the Public Policy Forum, SGNA has made available a number of scholarships to offset travel and housing costs of attending the forum. Here is what scholarship recipient Eileen Babb, BSN RN CGRN CFER, supervisor/coordinator at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center had to say about her day on the hill.
How would you describe the significance of this event as it relates to improving public policy and increasing public awareness with respect to diseases of the digestive system?
The Digestive Disease National Coalition Public Policy plays a huge role in bringing together professional societies like SGNA and ASGE, industry representatives and patients who collectively speak in “one voice” to promote the improvement of health care quality through research, patient access to care, and through promotion and awareness.
Please talk about the importance of advocating for GI issues in general and what motivated you to apply for the scholarship.
I would like to see the eradication of colorectal cancer in my lifetime. As a frontline GI nurse, I experience firsthand the letdown when someone is diagnosed with colon cancer. Lately, there has been a spike in colorectal cancer diagnosis in millennials and gen-xers. Colorectal cancer is largely preventable with regular screening and is treatable with early detection. As a GI professional and an SGNA member, I strongly advocate for increasing colorectal screening rates for all people and increased funding for colorectal cancer research. This is what motivated me to apply for the DDNC scholarship. Thank you SGNA for providing me the opportunity to attend the Public Policy Forum!
What role has SGNA played in helping you elevate your efforts and interest in professional advocacy?
Professional advocacy is one of the mediums used by SGNA in carrying out its mission of advancing the science and practice of gastroenterology and endoscopy nursing. SGNA members are the strongest advocates in promoting colorectal cancer screening and awareness through regional grassroots efforts. SGNA provides healthcare policy resources to the regions, via the legislative liaisons. One example of this is the information to support the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.” SGNA also provides scholarships to offset the cost of attending the Public Policy Forum for its members who are interested in healthcare policy.