Ms. Bruce’s class goes to Washington

Healthcare professionals need to understand how government action — as well as inaction — impacts their profession and most importantly, their patients.

In that light, UC San Diego Extension instructor Leslie Bruce presents her fifth annual course devoted to “Politics and Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Washington D.C.,” set for April 28-May 2, 2014.

Leslie Bruce

As in previous years, a major highlight of the program includes a series of meetings with top staffers of San Diego’s elected members of Congress and the Senate, plus meetings with leaders from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Students will also meet with House Speaker John Boehner’s Director of Health Policy in his Capitol office.

“It’s all about learning how to actively participate in the democratic process in a first-person way,” said Bruce. “I’ve found my students always come away with a greater desire and ability to advocate for their patients and their organizations.”

In addition, special in-person meetings on healthcare are scheduled with opinion leaders and experienced advocates including Norm Ornstein (television commentator and author/columnist for “National Journal” and “The Atlantic”); Caroline Lukensmeyer (director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse) and Peter Loge (former lobbyist and vice president for external relations, U.S. Institute of Peace).

The course focuses around advocacy skill-building in the healthcare context and teaches students how to become expert resources to legislators serving at the national level.

“This is a first step toward relationship-building with people who make important decisions in our lives,” added Bruce. “We’ve found these trips can be life-changing – and they’re always a lot of fun.”

Bruce also directs a similar Extension course for healthcare professionals interested in state-wide legislative issues. Her 12th annual “Politics and Public Policy of U.S. Healthcare: Sacramento” course is set for January 2015.

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