IFFGD 2022 Education and Advocacy Event on the Hill

Join us October 2nd and 3rd, 2022 as we return to Washington D.C to advocate for digestive health. 

For the millions of Americans living with the debilitating and sometimes life-threatening symptoms of a functional gastrointestinal or motility disorder (FGIMD), the fight for awareness, research into safe and effective treatments, and cures are ongoing.

But Members of Congress can help

IFFGD’s 2022 Education and Advocacy Event on the Hill is a two-day event bringing together advocates — patients, family members, friends, and health care providers. Our goal is to educate you on receiving the care you need and deserve. This is also an opportunity to connect with other advocates; learn how patients and caregivers can engage with Federal agencies to help shape research, drug development, and approval; share personal stories of how you have been impacted by a FGIMD; and educate key policymakers in Washington about the needs of the millions of Americans affected.

Together, we can make the voice of the digestive health community heard and encourage Congress to prioritize actions that will lead to greater awareness and the development of new treatment options and cures. 

Safe Step Act

The Safe Step Act was created to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the appropriate, best treatment for them.

Step therapy is a tool used by health plans that controls spending on patient medications. While step therapy can be important for containing the costs of prescription drugs, it can have negative impacts on patients.  This can include delayed access to the most effective treatment, severe side effects, and irreversible disease progression. 

Insurance companies may require a patient to try certain medications before they gaining access to the drug originally prescribed by their physician.  This protocol is known as “step therapy.” Step therapy protocols may ignore a patient’s unique circumstances and medical history. This can lead to patients using medications that fail to address their medical issue, or they may experience dangerous side effects. 

The Safe Step Act will require insurance companies to implement a clear and transparent process for a patient or physician to request an exception to the step therapy protocol. 

**Taken from S. 464/H.R. 2163, SAFE STEP ACT OF 2021**

Learn more about the Safe Step Act Here

Health and Safety

As we return to in-person events in 2022,  we will closely monitor the CDC regulations in regards to COVID19. We will implement requirements based on the CDC and the event location guidelines during this event. We will keep all registrants informed about these requirements and protocols that we implement for the 2022 in-person Advocacy Event. Please do not hesitate to contact our staff at iffgd@iffgd.org with any questions and/or concerns. 

Sunday, October 2

Join us on Sunday October 2 as we present information on getting the healthcare you need and deserve.  Learn more about topics like: 

  • Advocating for yourself in the doctor’s office

    Presentations from members of IFFGDs Advisory Committee, Board of Directors and Junior Academicians

    • How to help your Healthcare provider help you
    • How to ask for a test or treatment you prefer and/or decline one you are uncomfortable with in a way it will likely be accepted by your HCP
  • Advocating for yourself to get medications or diagnostics you need

    Presentations from IFFGD community and staff: 
    • Overview of the issue of patient access to care
  • How pharmaceutical companies can help with Patient Assistance Programs

    We will educate patients on how to navigate the complex system of coverage for medical tests and medication. After, we will hold a discussion to help answer questions from you on the best ways to move forward to gain access.

**Program agenda coming soon

Monday, October 3

Together, we will head to Capitol Hill to conduct our Congressional visits. You and your group members will attend group meetings with your Members of Congress and/or their staff. IFFGD will provide talking points related to patient access to care.  Here are some examples of what policy priorities you can speak to Members of Congress about:

  • Help to remove barriers to patient access to care
  • Support for the Safe Step Act
  • Provide increased funding to NIH and proportional funding increase to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) for FY 2023
  • Support Gulf War Illness research at the DoD and VA
  • Support the continuation of the new competitive program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address public and professional awareness of chronic health conditions and GI illness.

You will have a packet of materials to present to the staff following your visit. Meetings are expected to run until approximately 5:00 PM EST.

Congressional meetings for you and your group will be set up ahead of time. Please do not contact Congressional offices to set up meetings yourself. 

Hotel & Travel


Please plan to arrive on Saturday October 1, or early Sunday, October 2, and depart the evening of Monday, October 3, or on Tuesday, October 4.

Meetings on Monday, October 3, are expected to run until approximately 5:00 PM EST. 


Phoenix Park Hotel
520 N. Capitol St NW
Washington, DC 20001


Other Hotels in the Area

  • Comfort Inn Downtown DC/Convention Center (0.5 mi)
  • Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel (0.6 mi)
  • District Hotel (0.6 mi)
  • Sofitel Lafayette Square Washington, DC (1 mi)
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders gratefully acknowledges Takeda for their generous support of the 2022 Advocacy Day Event on the Hill
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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

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