The AHA (American Hospital Association) is hosting their annual meeting on Sunday, May 6th at The Washington Hilton 1919 Connecticut Ave. Washington, DC.
They will meet right down the street from where I live, where my children live and where my husband died. They will meet at a hotel that is on the same street as the mural 73 Cents. That painting is a testament to the need for data access and I painted it in the 3 months immediately following my husband’s death.
The AHA meeting will take place mere feet away from the offices of the National Partnership for Women and Families. On Wednesday, Christine Bechtel Vice President of @NPWF wrote a post entitled, “Don’t let them destroy patient protections in health IT!” Her post objected to the hostile stance of the AHA towards patients’ data access.
The AHA would like patients to wait 30 days to see their medical records after an episode of care. This stance is in direct opposition to the hard work of many doctors, patients and members of the Department of Health and Human Services.
I humbly invite all of you to meet me on the sidewalks surrounding The Washington Hilton on Sunday May 6th . We will gather from 2-6 in the afternoon. Wear your Walking Gallery jackets and be prepared to wave them or to wear them. Make signs supporting patient access to the medical record or use the ones I make with the help of children and friends. Come in your Sunday best or your weekend casual wear. Bring your entire family. Let your children join my little Isaac in his joyous shout, “Healthcare! Healthcare!”
I will bring bubbles and we shall walk and blow them in the air. Let us be joyous and each bubble will represent the over-blown egos of association that would dare to deny us access to our own information.
For a moment in time those bubbles will glisten with beauty and appear to be a seamless whole entity… and then shall pop.
Be brave for I know many of you work in healthcare and taking on the AHA can be scary. But take inspiration from the statue in front of this grand hotel. It is a statue of General George B. McClellan. My wonderful husband Fred, who was a civil war buff, detested McClellan. McClellan constantly over estimated the strength of the opposing army and his tactics were unsuited for the battlefield. He almost lost the war for the Union. He was a bureaucratic leader not the man for timely decisions about life and death.
It seems that statue is a fitting symbol for the AHA stance today.