Last week I had the opportunity to work on Vendome Group’s Summit for Clinical Excellence in Boston. On the second day of the program, Senators Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire and Ed Markey of Massachusetts opened the event. They and their staff were competent and professional. But what impressed me the most was their stories about the efforts they are making to help fight the opioid epidemic.
It was a generally easy audience for them since these are the people on the front lines. Clinicians, operators or treatment facilities, etc. They know every day how tough this battle is. Their senators too. Senator Markey said that other senators and congressional staffs from either party reach out to her for information, since she is well regarded as incredibly well informed on the opioid epidemic. He also mentioned the fight to make sure that funding stays in place to help with the epidemic, and noted how much is actually needed, which is more than is currently appropriated. He told the story about how close we came from losing all of the funding from the Affordable Care Act in August and how that would have blown a hole in the safety net for most people in recovery.
Senator Hassan for her part was very articulate on the problem and how she will work with anyone from either party to help solve this crisis. She said that this is how things get done in Washington, is working together and this epidemic affects anyone from either party. She can recite the latest stats, and you can tell that she keeps up to date on them not as a talking point, but more like a commander in battle needs to know the latest intel for future decisions.
As a casual observer, I walked away thinking that they are very serious and hardworking for their constituents in a time when politicians are lauded for exactly the opposite. It’s nice to see!