CMS end-of-session reception brings together legislators, physicians to celebrate progress against opioid epidemic
by Emily Bishop, Program Manager, Division of Government Relations
Featured in the July/August 2018 Colorado Medicine.
On a cloudy evening in June, legislators, physicians, friends of medicine, and their families gathered to celebrate the end of another session with an evening of music, food, and conversation.
Too often, the work of public servants goes unnoticed, the sacrifices they make – time away from family, setting aside careers – is overlooked. Physicians know this all too well, especially those who volunteer their limited free time to work alongside CMS, advocating for health care at the Capitol. Taking a break from the already-building pressures of the 2019 session, CMS’ government affairs team used the evening as an opportunity to recognize the legislators that represent physicians and their patients.
The reception, held at the historic Grant-Humphreys Mansion, was a collaboration with the Denver, Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert, Aurora-Adams, and Foothills Medical Societies as well as Rocky Vista University and the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
While the majority of the evening was dedicated to conversation between colleagues and friends, the Chair of COMPAC, Christopher Unrein, DO, FACP, CMB, took a few minutes to express gratitude on behalf of CMS for the work of both lawmakers and physicians. He invited the attending legislators to introduce themselves to the gathered party; “It was remarkable how legislator after legislator all had the same remarks regarding the CMS lobbying staff,” Dr. Unrein remembered. “They all reiterated that our staff was professional, knowledgeable, and on their game . . . This should give all members of CMS something to be very proud of, knowing that the medical profession is so well represented at the capitol.”
The reception brought together a wide-ranging group of physicians. The Council on Legislation, COMPAC, and student component were all represented, along with attendees from advocacy groups of specialty societies and graduates of CMS’ Public Policy Course. A jazz trio of students from the University of Colorado Denver kept the atmosphere lively as attendees dodged occasional rain showers to enjoy the beautiful grounds overlooking the Governor’s Mansion.
The is the event’s second year in a row, CMS hopes to make the celebration an annual tradition to thank those that make advocating for the medical profession possible.