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Government Relations Academy

Take Your Advocacy to the Next Level

The America’s Essential Hospitals Government Relations Academy elevates the federal advocacy skills of government relations professionals at hospitals with a mission to serve low-income patients and others who face barriers to care. Over nine months, participants will: 

  • expand their knowledge of safety net financing, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and other legislative and regulatory issues important to essential hospitals; 
  • explore, with a communications colleague, how to apply political communications strategies and tools, safety net financing messaging, and inclusive language to help advance advocacy priorities*; 
  • develop and execute a federal advocacy campaign to achieve a policy victory for their hospital; and 
  • build their professional network with government relations peers and seasoned advisers from essential hospitals. 

This valuable education series includes: 

  • three highly interactive sessions at the America’s Essential Hospitals spring and post-election Policy Assembly fly-ins and VITAL2022 annual conference; 
  • supplemental learning activities between sessions, including webinars; 
  • ongoing access to advisers who have decades of experience advocating for essential hospitals; and 
  • the option to earn continuing education credits. 

*The session at VITAL2022 requires the participation of a communications colleague from the participant’s hospital. The curriculum will be tailored to enhance collaboration between government relations and communications staff. 

Don’t Take Our Word for it — Take Theirs

In this video, past participants explain how the Government Relations Academy can advance your government relations career: 

Program Cost

  • Tuition is $7,250, which includes three in-person sessions for government relations professionals and one in-person learning session for communications professionals; access to Washington insiders, including health policy experts, leading lobbyists, and seasoned communications coaches; curriculum materials; some meals; networking events; and distance learning activities between sessions. 
  • Tuition also includes complimentary registration for the participant and reduced registration fees for a communications colleague to attend VITAL2022, the association’s annual conference, in Boston.
  • Each participant’s sponsoring organization is responsible for travel and lodging expenses. 

2022 Session Information


Navigating Washington: Foundations of Essential Hospital Advocacy 

March 2022 | Washington, D.C.
(Held at spring Policy Assembly) 

This session will deepen participants’ understanding of key legislative and regulatory challenges for essential hospitals. Nationally recognized experts will provide in-depth explanations of essential hospital financing and the mechanisms states use to fund hospitals serving the marginalized populations. Policy experts and lobbyists with decades of experience in Washington will reflect on the evolution of effective advocacy at the federal level and provide an advanced overview of the congressional and regulatory processes. 

Participants will be introduced to the concept for an advocacy campaign they will build over the course of the program. During this session, participants will define campaign goals and begin outlining high-impact communications strategies and an overall execution plan, with guidance from seasoned experts. 


Telling Your Story 

June 21–21, 2022 | Boston
(Held at VITAL2022) 

Participants are asked to bring a hospital communications colleague to this session, which will focus on how government relations and communications staff can collaborate effectively to tell a hospital’s story, using inclusive language for diverse audiences. 

Communications and messaging experts will discuss effective message development and meaningful storytelling strategies. Participants also will learn the language of diversity, equity, and inclusion and how to discuss structural racism and other sensitive issues. In addition, social media experts will share inside tips and work one-on-one with participants to explore various tools to enhance a hospital’s social media footprint. 

The techniques covered in this session will help participants develop their campaign’s communications strategy, with special attention to refining campaign messaging and incorporating effective communications tools. 


Implementing Your Advocacy Campaign 

December 2022 | Washington, D.C.
(Held at post-election Policy Assembly) 

In this session, each participant will present their federal advocacy campaign project to academy peers and advisers, including tools and lessons acquired through the course of the program. The session will emphasize ways to refine the campaign’s execution strategy and will devote significant time to constructive feedback. 

In addition, leading media voices will present on health policy reporting and national political consultants will share how political action committees can amplify advocacy. 




Applications for the 2022 – 2023 class are now closed. To submit interest in the next program or our other leadership development programs, use the form below.

Leadership Development Request for Information
Please use your work email address.
Which member do you work for?


Download Brochure

Questions about the program?

Contact Christina Fagnano at or 202-585-0117.

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