by Ryan Geddie, Government Relations Specialist
Last week, I had the pleasure to join President and C.E.O. John Register, and Chief Programs Officer Ashlie White in our nation’s capital to meet with elected officials to discuss issues facing amputees, and advocate for legislation on behalf of the amputee community. We met champions from both sides of the aisle, including Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Brett Guthrie, the office of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the office of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
In preparation for the meetings on capitol hill, the Government Relations team identified two key advocacy priorities. First, supporting a Government Accountability Office study, as originally outlined in the Triple A study act, that will give the Amputee Coalition much-needed information about the barriers that exist between amputees and accessing assistive devices like prosthetics. We know that two-thirds of American Amputees never receive a prosthetic device. This study will enable the coalition to understand where and to what extent barriers between Amputees and assistive devices exist and enable us to most effectively direct future legislative efforts toward eliminating these barriers.
Additionally, we were excited to be able to offer the Amputee Coalition as a resource to members of congress as we continue our advocacy for the Hannah Cvancara service act. Already, the Department of Defense allows individuals living with limb loss whose amputation is service-connected to continue their service. The Hannah Cvancara Service Act, introduced by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, would allow amputees who complete a waiver process, whose limb loss or limb difference is not service-connected, to serve our country as a medical professional within the military.
Our message was effective, and our meetings with elected officials were extremely productive. We were able to reconnect with long-time champions for amputees, as well as introduce our agenda to potential allies. We are confident that as we move forward into the next legislative session, we will be able to make significant strides on behalf of amputees.
Our C.E.O. and President John Register had this to say about the meetings: “It was good to walk the halls of the Capitol again to meet with Members of Congress that have supported the limb loss and limb difference community, champions like Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representative Brett Guthrie who are working with the Amputee Coalition to ensure equitable healthcare access.”
We are incredibly thankful for your support as we continue to bring the issues facing amputees to congress and work to empower people affected by limb loss and limb difference to achieve their full potential.