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Michigan Health and Hospital Association “Thunderclap” Support GME Campaign

Please take a moment to read Michigan Health & Hospital Association's campaign in support of GME funding:On Tuesday, April 21, the Michigan House Health Policy Committee will be hearing testimony on the critical role graduate medical education (GME) plays in ensuring access to high-quality, affordable healthcare across our state. As you know, each of the state budget proposals that have been put forth by the governor and both state chambers eliminate or reduce the state contribution toward funding GME and, instead, propose requiring hospitals to fund the program with their own tax dollars. Please know that, while this issue may seem to only affect teaching hospitals, GME is important to all hospitals and health systems, as it provides a crucial pipeline for future physicians that care for patients across Michigan.

While budget negotiations continue with key decision-makers, we must continue to raise the visibility of GME with our state legislators, the public and the media to humanize the story of GME. To do so, the MHA has developed some tools for physician residents to use not only Monday, but in the weeks and months ahead, to deliver the message to elected officials and others that #GMEmatters.

We will be executing a Thunderclap social media campaign Monday morning prior to the committee hearing, and we need the support of your hospitals and your physician residents to make it a success. If you’re not familiar with it, Thunderclap is a tool that allows an organizer to set up a social media campaign that recruits supporters and then delivers an identical message from all supporters' social media accounts on the same day at the same time, essentially creating a GME flash flood in the social media world (and to legislators). Our Thunderclap campaign will deliver a message on Twitter and Facebook to the Michigan Legislature about the importance of GME, and we ask that you sign up to support our campaign. Please pass this information along to your physician residents, if you are part of a teaching hospital, and encourage them to participate in the Thunderclap.

We have also developed a Web page devoted to GME. This page, which is available now at www.gmematters.org and will continue to be developed over the coming days, houses tools for physician residents and others that make it fast and easy to engage in a GME discussion with their social media followers, elected officials or local newspaper. Included are one-click Tweets, a sample letter to the editor or legislator, a list of teaching hospitals and more. In addition, we are asking physician residents to share their stories about their experience as residents. Our Web page can capture written stories or video snippets, for which we've provided prompt questions. These stories would be featured on social media to reinforce why GME is important to maintaining access to care across Michigan and ensuring we have a strong future physician workforce.

To recap, here's what we are asking you to do:

?        Join our Thunderclap campaign and ask your physician residents and other hospital colleagues to do the same.

?        Visit our new GME Web page – www.gmematters.org – and use the social media tools provided to Tweet and use other platforms to be part of the ongoing conversation about GME.

If you have any questions about the communications elements of this message, please don't hesitate to rsudderth@mha.org, Ruthanne Sudderth, Senior Director, Communications and Strategic Affairs, Michigan Health & Hospital Association

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