A Non-Wonk Meets Legislators

CHI hosted the sixth biennial Hot Issues in Health Care Conference at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs during the first week of December.

This was my second time attending the conference as a CHI staff member, and to be honest I wasn’t sure how it would go.  Not because of the content, mind you – CHI offered an amazing array of keynotes, roundtables and breakout sessions – but for me personally. 

As CHI’s Director of Finance and Administration, I spend most of my time behind the scenes making sure our organization is running smoothly.  I’m no health policy wonk.  Because of that, I’ll admit that I was a little intimidated to spend three days with our state legislators.  

I worried that I wouldn’t know enough about a particular state agency or health care issue of the day.  I wanted to be a good ambassador for CHI and keep my foot out of my mouth. 

Fortunately, I didn’t need to worry.  I spoke with many legislators from across the political spectrum and found them all to be approachable, inquisitive and friendly. None of them posed as experts. Many times, I heard a representative or senator say that with all the issues they cover on behalf of their constituents they couldn’t possibly be an expert on everything.

I came away with an immense respect for the sacrifice that these men and women make to serve Colorado and their constituents.  As an added bonus, I felt empowered as a citizen.  Thanks to the positive experience I had among the legislative attendees of the Hot Issues in Health Care conference, I know that if I call to express my views, my call will be welcome.  And I look forward to another great experience when we host the conference again in 2014.

For those interested in the content provided at our conference, you can click here for a sneak preview.  We will roll out the complete content in the coming weeks.

Tim Dunbar is the director of finance and administration at CHI.