Just blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the Adventist Health Policy Association (AHPA), an affiliation of five Seventh-day Adventist health-care systems, including Loma Linda University Health, has opened a new office in Washington, D.C. There, AHPA president Carlyle Walton leads the association’s efforts to advance crucial policy and advocacy priorities that ensure member hospitals can provide high-quality, accessible health care.
“AHPA’s board of directors decided recently that it’s essential to develop a presence in Washington, D.C., in order to have the influence we envision on a national level,” said Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health and AHPA board member. “We are establishing clear objectives for helping to shape the federal agenda.”
Loma Linda University Health provides the association’s principal research and academic nexus through the Institute for Health Policy and Leadership, which is devoted to innovative scholarship and service in health policy. The Loma Linda institute partners in AHPA’s national efforts by mobilizing policy expertise, stimulating evidence-based discussions, and developing practical ideas that create better health for whole communities.
AHPA serves as the policy and advocacy voice for more than 90 hospitals in 17 states. Affiliated health entities include more than 350 other provider organizations such as associated medical groups, nursing homes, outpatient centers, and home-care entities. The organization aims to ensure that existing and new federal legislation, policies, rules, and guidelines allow its members to fulfill their mission of outstanding, faith-based health care; to analyze the impact of proposed federal policy and regulations on Adventist hospitals, focusing on five to six common issues each year; and to demonstrate a united voice for health policy issues in which members have common interests.
The board of directors will soon finalize AHPA’s strategic priorities for 2019, a blend of the imperatives of Loma Linda University Health and the other health systems AHPA serves.
“Seventh-day Adventist hospitals represent a major sector of the U.S. health system, and working together on key issues allows us to have a meaningful impact in crafting and advancing a whole-person, patient-focused national health-care agenda that includes strong input into the policies and issues affecting our health-care system,” Walton said.
Walton was appointed president of AHPA last summer. He previously served as CEO of Metroplex Health System, which is part of AdventHealth (formerly Adventist Health System), a founding member of AHPA.