Leadership Day Questions and Answers

Updated May 4, 2022

We are excited to host Leadership Day 2022 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC on May 17-18. To help chapters know what to expect for Leadership Day, we have developed this document of frequently asked questions to address the logistics for the event.  An overview of the agenda for Leadership Day 2022 can be found hereThese FAQs are current as of April 11, 2022 and will be updated regularly as circumstances evolve.

Who can participate in Leadership Day?

Leadership Day is open only to ACP members in the United States; those interested in attending are advised to first reach out to their ACP chapter governor as state chapters typically coordinate their member delegations to the event each year.  Registration for Leadership Day is facilitated through a user-friendly online system that allows members to choose which event sessions they would like to attend. There is a registration fee of $50 per member for the event. Medical students and resident fellows-in-training are exempt from the fee.   

How do I register for Leadership Day?

Registration for Leadership Day closed on Sunday, April 24.

What information do I need to make hotel reservations at the Mandarin?

ACP’s room block at the Mandarin Hotel is now full. If you are unable to acquire a room and have questions, please contact Shuan Tomlinson at stomlinson@acponline.org.

Do I have to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the event or can I do so virtually from home?

Due to logistical demands, Leadership Day is being planned and executed as an in-person event so participation requires making the trip to our nation’s capital. Day one will be dedicated to in-person briefings for attendees at the Mandarin Hotel.  Day two will consist of congressional meetings with lawmakers and their staff, which ACP National will schedule for chapters.  Some of those meetings will be in-person but attendees should expect some virtual meetings, for reasons described below.   

What is the Covid vaccination policy for Leadership Day?

Up to date COVID-19 vaccination is required of all attendees, presenters, and staff on site at the event. Up to date vaccination means having received a full primary series and a booster dose when eligible, prior to the event. For U.S. residents, acceptable primary series vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson; for individuals living outside of the United States, other primary series vaccines the WHO has indicated meet necessary criteria for safety and efficacy are also accepted.

Will masks be required at the event?

At the time of the event, ACP will follow current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as any requirements in place in the District of Columbia (DC) for mask wearing.  DC does not currently have an indoor mask mandate in place, except on public transit. The latest public health guidance from the DC Department of Health can be found here and from the CDC here

How will congressional meetings work?

Due to evolving circumstances surrounding the current public health emergency and enhanced security protocols on Capitol Hill, congressional meetings will be scheduled for chapters by ACP National, but the format of those meetings will be dictated by each congressional office as either in-person or virtual, with a maximum of 15 chapter members allowed in any in-person meeting in the House of Representatives, and a maximum of nine members in any in-person meeting in the U.S. Senate. As a result, chapters should expect a mix of both in-person and virtual meetings.  Our scheduler will make every effort to choregraph chapter meeting schedules so members can adequately adjust to needing to be physically on Capitol Hill for a meeting versus in a quiet location elsewhere to take a meeting virtually.  Current security protocols will not allow us to have a reserved hospitality room where members can congregate on Capitol Hill in between in-person meetings, and members will not be allowed to roam the halls of congressional office buildings; however, ACP will have space available for members to take virtual meetings, either at the Mandarin Hotel or in ACP’s office building, both of which are in close proximity to congressional offices.

What are the security protocols and procedures in place on Capitol Hill?

In the wake of the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., tight security protocols were put in place.  Attendees at the event will need to navigate these protocols for in-person meetings in any of the House/Senate office buildings or the U.S. Capitol Building. While some of these protocols may change or be lifted prior to the event, attendees should be prepared for these protocols currently in place:

  • Each office has the discretion to accept the meeting as in-person or not.
  • Proof of COVID vaccination required for some offices, so please bring proof of vaccination.
  • Security check-in stations instituted at entrances in all office House/Senate/Capitol buildings.
  • All attendees for in-person Hill meetings must stop at check-in station, present ID, receive Hill pass with building/floor/meeting destination.
  • Congressional staff must physically go down to the check-in station to receive attendees for meetings; escort them back down to check-in following meeting.
  • Attendees need to stop at check-in station after EACH congressional meeting for a Hall pass.
  • The maximum number of attendees allowed in per office is 15 in House meetings, and a maximum of nine in Senate meetings. Hill offices will not accommodate a meeting that has both in-person attendees and a laptop in the meeting for anyone wanting to attend virtually.
  • Attendees may not loiter in the hallways or cafeterias between meetings.

With security protocols limiting attendance per meeting, should larger chapters limit the size of their delegations coming to Leadership Day?

Larger chapters can send as many members as they would like to Leadership Day with the understanding that not every chapter member will be able to attend all of the in-person meetings on Capitol Hill.  Our scheduler will do the utmost to pair constituents with their own lawmakers and orchestrate meeting participation appropriately, abiding by the restrictions put in place by congressional offices. All members should consult their chapter governors before registering for Leadership Day.  

How will I access my congressional meetings schedule?

If registered for the event, at the appropriate time, attendees will receive an email with individual login credentials, giving you access to an online portal where you can access your electronic meeting schedule, which is in a user-friendly format.  Each meeting will indicate whether it will take place in-person or virtually with all relevant information neatly contained within the portal. Other resources will be made available within the portal, such as electronic issue briefs on ACP’s advocacy priorities, helpful background materials on your lawmakers, as well as other planning materials.

Where can I find Leadership Day materials?

All Leadership Day materials, including leave-behind documents on our policy priorities, will be available in electronic format only and available within an online event HUB that is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.  This HUB will be similar to that used last year for our virtual Leadership Day 2021. 

How are Leadership Day policy priorities determined?

ACP’s specific advocacy agenda is determined through a rigorous internal process that informs the formation of specific priority issues for Leadership Day. Early in the year, ACP’s governmental affairs staff and management carefully assess numerous factors as advocacy priorities are formulated, including: 1) the legislative environment for that calendar year and which policy issues might be ripe for congressional consideration and action, 2) the extent to which ACP has sufficient policy to inform and justify a given advocacy position, 3) what advocacy priorities had been accomplished the prior year or need further attention in the current year, 4) whether or not ACP has the expertise or ability to effectively influence policy reform on a given issue, 5) the degree to which a given issue may have bipartisan support within Congress.

Staff then generates a set of broad priorities, in both the legislative and regulatory space; staff’s analysis and recommended priorities are then thoroughly reviewed by ACP’s policy committees and governance, and then finalized with their input and support.  Those broad priorities then help guide the formation of specific advocacy priorities for Leadership Day that will serve as “asks” of lawmakers on a wide variety of different issues. The determining and drafting of those priority “asks” for Leadership Day are orchestrated, by necessity, on an abbreviated timeline based on congressional activity and developments in real-time and usually within weeks of the Leadership Day event.  ACP strives to present Leadership Day priorities that are actionable by Congress, that represent the consensus views of its membership, have bipartisan appeal, and can advance real reform for the benefit of internal medicine.

What if a member participating in Leadership Day personally disagrees with one or more of the ACP’s policies selected for advocacy during the event?

With a diverse membership of more than 161,000 internal medicine physician specialists, and medical student members, we understand that not every member will agree with every aspect of ACP policy.  Yet our policy development process ensures that the diversity of membership views are actively considered.

While we strive to select issues for Leadership Day that can enjoy the broadest possible support from our members participating in the event, and from members of Congress of both political parties, there may be times when an issue is selected that an ACP member-participant disagrees with. In such situations, we do not expect that the participant will advocate for a position that they can’t support, but we do ask that they not advocate

against ACP policy in their conversations with lawmakers and staff, since this would hurt ACP’s influence by signaling lack of unity among our membership.  In such cases, we would encourage other members from their state to speak in support of ACP’s legislative “asks”.  Members who disagree with ACP policy on a given issue can

seek to have it changed through resolutions from their chapter to the Board of Governors; Leadership Day itself, since it is not a policy-making body or event, has no ability to change adopted ACP policies.

What happens if an issue ACP has selected for Leadership Day is one that may not be well-received by some members of Congress, because they disagree with ACP’s recommendations?  Should it still be brought up in meetings with them? 

Congress, regrettably, is highly partisan and polarized these days, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike often at odds, and with limited willingness by them to compromise and find common ground.  Yet ACP has found that despite such disagreements, we have been successful in advancing our agenda with bipartisan support, on issues ranging from improving access to telehealth services, to addressing health care disparities, to funding primary care workforce programs.  We always seek to bring forward to Leadership Day a non-partisan agenda that will enjoy support across the political aisle. 

Yet there will be times when an issue is so important to ACP, its members, and patients, that we are obligated to advocate for it during Leadership Day, even though it may be more, or less, well-received by some members of Congress depending on their own partisan identity and ideological orientation.  In these and all cases, we make our arguments based on ACP policy, evidence, and the experiences of our members, not politics or partisanship.  Even if we don’t persuade an individual lawmaker to support our policy on a given issue, we anticipate that we will find common ground on other issues on our Leadership Day agenda.  While we hope that our Leadership Day participants will bring up each of our legislative “asks” in their meetings, we fully understand if they want to put more emphasis on issues that their own legislators may be amendable to; ACP staff will provide tips the day before the visits on how to handle such situations when they come up. 

Can I earn CME credit if I participate in Leadership Day?

Yes, ACP typically offers approximately six CME credits over the course of the event.  Those who register for Leadership Day and participate in select sessions can apply online for CME credits and that link to do so will be provided at a later date.