Laboratory tours provide a unique, hands-on opportunity to familiarize Members of Congress with the important role pathologists play in health care.
When Members of Congress are making legislative decisions that impact pathologists, it is crucial that they have an understanding of what pathologists do and how changes to the system will impact their ability to deliver quality care and accurate diagnoses to their patients.
Laboratory tours are also an opportunity for you to build a relationship with your Member of Congress and/or their staff, so that when issues of concern come up, you have an avenue to advocate for yourself and your specialty. It is good exposure for the legislator, for your practice, and for the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
The CAP Resources
- "How to Host a Lab Tour" Webinar (July 15, 2015)
- Download the Laboratory Tour Planning Kit (PDF, 71 KB)
- Watch our Laboratory Tour Video
Contact Lauren DePutter, director of political programs, firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a laboratory tour.
Tips for a Successful Laboratory Tour
- Send a written invitation. The invitation letter should be on your practice's or hospital's letterhead and faxed or emailed to the legislator's scheduler. The CAP staff will assist you in working with the scheduler to set up the tour.
- Invite your facility's top staff to participate in the tour, but avoid having too large a group. You should also inform your government affairs and/or public relations offices of the legislator's visit.
- Map out a route. Plan ahead to select particular areas that illustrate the points you want to make. Demonstrate the process involved in various tests. Create a schedule that allows time for breaks, discussion, and delays.
- Stay on schedule. Be aware of the time the legislator has available.
- Follow up the visit with a thank you note. Reemphasize key points made during the visit, and send the legislator photos taken of him or her at the facility with employees. Provide the legislator with copies of any newspaper or in-house articles detailing the visits to the facility.
- Tell the CAP how the tour went. After your tour, the CAP's legislative staff will use your feedback to follow up with the legislator's Health legislative assistant in Washington. The CAP communications staff will also tweet photos, write articles for Advocacy Update, and work with local media on press coverage, if desired.