Why did the Revolution finally join AHCA and become a CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Member?
I hate to pull a clichéd David Letterman Top 10 list, but it will tell you the real reason we did…
- Former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson’s leadership and team depth as AHCA President and CEO is exceptional. The improving quality data, combined with being part of the solution and providing tireless education over half a decade already has made our case worth hearing and supporting!
- The amazing work by FHCA (Florida) leadership, headed by Emmett Reed and team. We were supporting through Florida Promise but not at the level they deserved! Florida was a throwaway state 15 years ago, and now it is becoming a model of collaboration and compromise.
- We finally launched our own Signature PAC, ‘Protect Seniors Now,’ led by Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs Dianne Timmering and Director of Legislative Affairs Kathy Gallin, which allows us to become a driver of grassroots advocacy with deep participation alongside our engaged leaders who really want to be part of the conversation. Before I felt so much pressure to fund important healthcare legislators, and if we joined without a growing PAC, I was worried we could not keep up.
- So many industry leaders have made huge, selfless contributions to the current evolution, the new solution-based vision and the strong network that has been built. I felt our seat at the table was not really needed based upon the excellence I witnessed by leaders such as Paul Diaz, Neil Pruitt, Norman Estes and many others.
- Our legislative lady, Kathy, kept going for 8 years, bootstrapping it, always showing up, building real relationships and partnerships, etc. She educated me to take a fresh look at more resources, adding Dianne Timmering as a partner because of her background in policy and ability to build strategy. We all work better in teams and need to become a larger voice in the changing world. Kathy made many of our team members believers with her relentless pursuit of a voice for the Signature revolution. She convinced Dianne, me and our board that it works, but you have to show up, engage, share and believe, and sometimes will things through.
- My thoughts were that we could raise the bar in other meaningful ways, like expanding the role of spirituality in LTC, funding our research center or our InnovateLTC (a collaborative immersion model), developing post-acute hospital forums, and building market intelligence systems to help predict and share it. All of these initiatives made me feel we were already contributing to the body of work that our industry has achieved – but was it enough?
- We were mainly concentrated in three states: Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida. I felt we were helping lead and fund some of the costs and energy in the bloody medical panel fight in Kentucky that ran most of my friends off, while in Tennessee there were still some ideology gaps that I just had not become comfortable with, and I knew we were helping in Florida in a different, non-member way. However, with new regions in Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina, and progress by many of our state leaders, it was a great time to make the bold move.
- I closely watched the Alliance Defending Freedom, with Alan Sears, for years, seeing the importance of their approach to really pushing for a targeted voice and getting the conversation with the power brokers, and did not see a way to be active in both. We were just too small, a new organization that was making a headquarters move across the country, so we tried to get stronger first, and get centralized so we could grow. During this period, I heard a merger was likely. The combined organization has taken best practices from both groups and made it a true standard of excellence that has impressed me.
- I want my team to have the best learning experience possible. We have one of the coolest learning pillars anywhere in the U.S., but once AHCA shifted to real rigor, data analytics and developing real, unbiased arguments based upon evidence, the new day began. It was time to enhance our SHC team with some of the best learning I have seen in years.
- Lastly, as good as AHCA and CPAC are, I think they need us like we need them. We bring great energy, an innovative platform, new ideas and a very talented team that should be part of the new solutions.