Few rights are more fundamentally American than the right to vote. Yet surprisingly, many do not take the opportunity to make their voice heard. In the 2012 election, only 58 percent of registered Indiana voters cast ballots, according to Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson. The reasons are diverse, ranging from not knowing how or where to vote, to dissatisfaction with the political process. However, we must understand how much of what we do is impacted by public policy.
Health care policy affects everyone, but few people understand important issues like health care coverage, mental health, tobacco and substance abuse better than the people who work inside our state’s hospitals. That is why it is critical for us to advocate for our patients and our industry by heading to the voting booth in November.
IHA launched the We Care. We Vote. campaign to empower and educate health care workers across Indiana about what’s at stake for Hoosier hospitals this election year. The campaign encourages hospital employees to vote in the 2016 election to show candidates and elected officials that we care–for our patients, our community and our nation.
IHA recently sat down with Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, IHA President Doug Leonard and Hendricks Regional Health President and CEO Kevin Speer to discuss the importance of health care workers getting out the vote in 2016.
Doug Leonard: This year will be a critical election year, and the individuals we elect will make many important decisions concerning the future of health care and, ultimately, the future of Indiana hospitals. We encourage hospitals to elevate their advocacy efforts leading up to the November 2016 general election, calling on hospital employees and our extended network, including physicians, trustees, vendors and volunteers, to join together to make the voice of the industry heard.
Kevin Speer: At Hendricks Regional Health, engagement is one of our core values. For more than half a century, we have preserved our culture of community support and doing the right thing for the patients and families we serve. Our associates are already immersed in helping build a healthier community, and that includes exercising their right as Hoosier voters. We are working hard to bring even greater awareness to our associates about the key issues facing hospitals this election year. We’re urging everyone in our hospital family to make sure they are registered to vote and to learn about the candidates on their ballot. As our area’s largest employer, building a dialogue within our walls will also serve as a groundswell initiative to impact awareness community wide.
Most importantly, I will be encouraging my fellow Hendricks Regional Health associates to help lead the conversation about what’s at stake this election year for Hoosier hospitals. Our voices are strong, but together they can become even stronger on Nov. 8.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson: More than 150,000 people work at Indiana hospitals, and we want everyone who is eligible to vote on Election Day! Visit our website, IndianaVoters.com, for a fast, easy and secure way to register, or download our new mobile app to register, see which candidates will appear on your ballot, find your polling place and more.
In preparation for the Nov. 8 general election, we encourage hospitals to host voter registration drives. These non-partisan drives will be focused on getting as many people registered as possible. We want everyone who is eligible to vote to take part on Election Day, and the Indiana Secretary of State’s office will help us with these drives.
To get started, visit sos.in.gov to download voter registration applications and outreach materials to hand out. If you have any questions, you can contact the Secretary of State’s voter outreach coordinator Brandon Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-234-8354.
Stay tuned for more resources from We Care. We Vote. heading into the November election. Visit the campaign’s website at ihaharmony.org/vote to watch our new video and access more information.