Recognition WashU Nephrology News

WashU Nephrology RN Andrew Wasson Takes Part in ANNA Health Policy Workshop 2023 on Capitol Hill

Andrew Wasson, BSN, RN, CDN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, WashU Nephrology Home Modalities, was among 38 nephrology American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) leaders who visited Capitol Hill last month as part of their Health Policy Workshop in Washington, DC.

The group met with congressional leaders to educate members of Congress about the impact of kidney disease and to advocate for legislation that affects nephrology nurses and kidney patients.

One of the highlights of the workshop was networking with other nurses in our state.  “Kim Watts, MSN, RN, Regional Operations Director at DaVita Kidney Care in St. Charles, MO, and I teamed up during our visits to the Hill,” says Wasson, “and I’ve not only met a great colleague, but I think someone I would love to call a friend!”

Andrew Wasson and Kim Watts take on Capitol Hill

Wasson and Watts visited the offices of Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer and Senator Eric Schmitt.  Watts also met with Senator Josh Hawley.  “We met with the congressmen’s staff members who were all very courteous and friendly and seemed to be interested in the bills we wanted to discuss,” says Wasson.  “We reviewed with them the highlights of each bill and they listened and asked good questions.”

The bills discussed included The Living Donor Protection Act of 2023(HR 2923/S 511), The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act(HR 5027), and The National Nursing Workforce Center Act of 2023(HR 2411/S 1150).

“We also reinforced how important loan forgiveness was in making nephrology an appealing field for both nurses and physicians and that reimbursement rates also made a difference in making nephrology appealing with regards to compensation and the ability for dialysis units to care for patients,” says Wasson. 

When jokingly asked if they had a favorite kidney – the right or the left – Wasson and Watts diplomatically replied that both were their favorite!

“I’ve always been interested in politics and justice and how it shapes our lives,” says Wasson, “and this empowerment has allowed me to see firsthand that I can actually affect change with my words and actions. “I don’t have to just be a passive watcher of things happening around me.  My local, state, and federal representatives better watch out!”

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Wasson and Watts with Senator Schmitt’s staff