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Legislative Home Care Goals Make for a Full Day at the Minnesota Capitol

It’s well known at the PHS office that if you want to find Bill Amberg during the legislative session, you won’t see him in his office. During the all too brief four-and-a-half months of the legislative session, our Government Relations Counsel is spending as much time as possible at the Capitol educating Representatives and Senators on our legislation, learning about other legislation within the healthcare sector, and improving the outlook for our complex patient population. So just what does a day in the life of Bill look like? We got a glimpse – come along for the ride as we get a look into his meetings.


Health & Human Services hearing in MinnesotaMost mornings, I start the day with a House Health & Human Services committee meeting – either finance or policy – where I have the opportunity to learn more about bills that are being introduced. Often times, I will attend even if there isn’t a bill that directly affects Pediatric Home Service, but may still impact our population in one way or another. This gives me the opportunity to have a broader knowledge of legislative efforts within the healthcare community, and share this information with others who may be interested in these efforts.

These meetings also give me a good opportunity to connect with lobbyists and legislators, even if just for a few minutes, to introduce our efforts at the Capitol and hopefully open the door for more conversation in a scheduled meeting with members of these committees. Relationship building is hugely important in educating legislators and their staff about our objectives, and I take every opportunity to make those connections.


Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with DisabilitiesEach Wednesday, I attend a meeting for the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities – we are a member of this organization, and it brings together a number of communities (such as autism, seizures, brain injury, and more specialties) into one space where we can educate one another on various efforts, share updates on bill statuses, and support this team of advocates. As a company that has such a broad range of patients with different diagnoses, having this connection to many groups who we share a population with is incredibly beneficial for everyone involved.  One fruit that has been borne by belonging to CCD is that our home care nursing bill is on the list of legislative priorities for the consortium.


Time for a quick lunch with some fellow PHSers, including Leah Gosch (our Government Relations Analyst) and founder Susan Wingert. This afternoon, we’ll be meeting with legislators (after setting these appointments up with their legislative assistants) to discuss our home care nursing bill and are taking a few minutes to prepare for these quick but effective opportunities to educate.

1:00pm – 3:00pm

PHS patient Claire visits the capitol with her parents to meet with Minnesota legislatorsWe typically only have about 15 minutes with each representative we’re meeting with, so we prepare for meetings to ensure we know the different legislator’s stances and background prior and can educate them as thoroughly as possible. Having the support of legislators who serve on the Health & Human Services committees is crucial for success with our efforts, and we realize they have a lot of information they’re being handed each day. By bringing our patient stories and real life scenarios, we can truly show the impact our legislation will have on this growing population.


I end the day similarly to how I started it, with a Senate Health & Human Services Reform and Finance & Policy meeting where I again can gain more insight into this complex sector, and gather information that will only benefit our efforts moving forward, and our patients who are the reason we spend each day meeting with these men and women who have the ability to greatly impact these children and the care they receive.


I head home and power up my laptop and spend some time processing through emails and reading updates from the committees to see what bills are scheduled for upcoming hearings.  Then Leah and I look through new bills that were introduced on the House and Senate floor that day.  Typically, Leah looks through the bills before I do because, well, I’m usually running around the Capitol and it’s challenging to find quiet places to sit down and read them.

We look through these bills for those that are of interest to PHS and our patients.  If we are not sure how a bill would impact PHS we usually send the bill to our Chief Pharmacist, Jill Liebers, for example, if it was a bill dealing with prescribed drugs and ask for her opinion.   

Thanks to all of his work on the ground level, we are able to help legislators see the importance of health care at home, and better understand the population impacted.

When families contact PHS about inviting their representative or senator over to their house, they open a door to the opportunity for their legislator to see what a day in a medically complex child’s life looks like – providing greater impact than words ever could. We welcome you to contact Bill at if you’re interested in pursuing this opportunity.

Originally published: January 27, 2017