147th Edition

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147th EditionMarch 31, 2023

State Affairs 

2023 Legislative Session  

On March 29, the General Assembly met for the 40th legislative day, also known as “Sine Die,” to end the 2023 legislative session. It is the first year of a two-year legislative cycle. Leadership changes included Lt. Governor Burt Jones, Speaker Jon Burns (R-Newington), and Senate Pro Tempore Senator John Kennedy (R-Macon). While these leaders adjusted to their new roles, the start of the session was relatively slow. By mid-session, the pace picked up; and by late session, the Capitol was in full swing with lengthy debates and numerous bills being passed in both chambers.

From left to right: Sydney Wilkins, Cameron Taylor and Emlyn Langlieb spent Day 40, often referred to as Sine Die, under the Gold Dome as the 2023 legislative session came to a close. 

The state affairs team worked at the Capitol daily to advance Emory's mission and priorities at the state level. Emory maintained our state funding for another fiscal year and advocated for legislation including, but not limited to, enhanced coverage of biomarker testing, expanded access to maternal health services in at-risk and underserved communities, harsher punishments for those who inflict violence against healthcare workers, and state support of higher education. We are pleased the state budget includes funding increases for HOPE, Zell Miller, and TEG. Additionally, Emory’s team worked, sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully, to educate legislators and combat potentially harmful legislation. 

Several study committees will hold meetings throughout the summer and fall focused on hospital regulatory structure, rural medical personnel recruitment, and EMS reform. The state affairs team will be actively engaging with all these study committees.   

Dr. Ravi Thadhani Visit to the Capitol 

On March 15, Emory’s Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Ravi Thadhani visited the State Capitol and met with Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Ben Watson and House Chairman to the Special Committee on Healthcare Butch Parrish. Dr. Thadhani’s meetings helped strengthen Emory’s relationships with these key legislators and continued establishing Emory’s reputation as a valued resource to the General Assembly.  

Colon Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation 

Emory Doctors Indran Indrakrishnan, Pretesh Patel, and Olatunji Alese received a proclamation from Governor Brian Kemp recognizing March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month and thanking Emory Winship Cancer Institute for its important work in this field.

Federal Affairs

FY24 Appropriations  

This week, Congress held hearings with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra to discuss the Administration's Fiscal Year 2024 budget. On March 28, the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing to discuss the funding amounts in the FY24 Request for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). On March 29, Dr. Aneesh Mehta, Emory Chief of Infectious Diseases Services, joined his colleagues from across the country to advocate for federal appropriations specific to the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC). The group met with House and Senate appropriations committee staff as well as the Georgia congressional delegation. The OGCA team is working to position Emory for success during the FY24 appropriations process.

Hospital Transparency 

This week, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health convened to discuss transparency and competition in the health care system. Members and witnesses discussed ways that information can be better shared with consumers, leading to increased trust in health care providers. Major topics of the hearing included hospital price transparency, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and the 340B program. 

Passport Delays 

The U.S. Department of State is experiencing a dramatic surge of applications for new and renewed passports across the nation. While the current wait time listed on the agency’s website is 8 to 11 weeks, many people are experiencing wait times significantly longer than that, leading to missed flights and canceled vacations. Though the agency is redirecting significant resources to address the issue, OGCA wants the Emory community to be aware that these delays are expected to last for the foreseeable future and could worsen as we approach summer. If you are expecting to travel abroad sometime this year, we encourage you to check the expiration date of your passport now. Should you need to renew your passport, please consider doing so sooner rather than later.

Community Affairs

GA Ovarian Cancer Alliance  

Emory Healthcare was well represented at the GA Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s annual Gala at the Aquarium. In attendance were several prominent gynecologic oncology physicians including Dr. Ira Horowitz, Dr. Namita Khanna, Dr. Chanhee Han, Dr. Susan Modesitt, Dr. Sarah Dilley, Dr. Kristen Starbuck and Betty Willis from the OGCA team.

Local Government Receptions 

On March 23, President Fenves, along with Carmel Fenves and several Emory leaders, welcomed CEO Michael Thurmond and the DeKalb County Commissioners to a Reception at Lullwater. The event celebrated the partnership between Emory and DeKalb, including a total of $13 million in county funding, over the next two years, to support renovation and programming at Emory Hillandale Hospital. In May, we look forward to hosting the Atlanta City Council and Fulton County Commissioners. 

OGCA News 

March 24 was Ryan Pelfrey’s last day at Emory. Ryan served as the Assistant Director of Federal Affairs during his time here. He has now joined the Anti-Defamation League as Assistant Director for the Southeastern Region. We wish him well in his career development! 

The OGCA team now has two open positions, an AVP of Community Affairs and a Manager of Federal Affairs. We hope to announce these new team members in a future newsletter.


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