Campaign keeps physician-led anesthesia care in VA hospitals

Situation

Veterans often have multiple medical conditions that put them at greater risk for complications during surgery. The training and expertise required to become a physician anesthesiologist can mean the difference between life and death for this vulnerable population.

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When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs proposed a policy that would replace physician anesthesiologists with nurses during surgery in VA facilities, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) knew they had to take action.

ASA called on PCI to help ensure the highest level of care for our nation's veterans.

 

Taking Action

ASA and PCI embarked on an aggressive campaign.

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The campaign mobilized and rallied Members of Congress, Veterans organizations, Veterans, ASA members and the public to oppose the proposed policy and maintain physician-led, team-based anesthesia care in VA facilities.

The campaign’s communications strategy was to motivate people to action with tactics that included developing messages that resonate, mobilizing ASA members as ambassadors, conducting outreach with key stakeholders/organizations, securing media coverage and utilizing digital ads to drive engagement.
 

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Exceeding Expectations

The campaign exceeded all its objectives.

140,000 comments posted to the Federal Register in opposition to the proposed policy

8,000 messages sent to elected officials

422 media stories featuring ASA messages
 

A Win for Veterans

The result that really matters: The final VA regulation. 

The proposed change was rejected, and physician-led, team-based anesthesia care remains the policy of the VA healthcare system.