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Conversation with Coalition Leaders: Advocacy Town Hall

April 7, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Conversation with Coalition Leaders:

Advocacy Town Hall

The Biden Administration and the 117th Congress
What Lies Ahead & How We Can Make an Impact


Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Eastern Time 

(DISCLAIMER: Due to the subject matter of this Town Hall, the information discussed was current as of April 7, 2021.  Advocacy and policy issues are everchanging.)

Learn from an interdisciplinary, organizational and Coalition perspective about the priorities of the new Administration and Congress and how the hospice and palliative care field can advocate to improve equitable access and quality of care.



• Listen to these coalition leaders provide insight to potential legislative and regulatory opportunities for the hospice and palliative care field.
• Gain an understanding of the new Administration and Congressional health care policy leaders and appointed officials responsible for health care.
• Understand how important individual, organizational and Coalition advocacy is to achieve our shared policy goals and vision

Our Panelists:

Amy Melnick, MPA  
Executive Director
National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (The Coalition)


Amy Melnick is the Executive Director of the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (Coalition). Amy’s career has focused on health care policy, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and coalition building with diverse stakeholders. Amy guides the Coalition efforts to better communicate, coordinate and collaborate within the organizations representing the interdisciplinary field of hospice and palliative care.

As the Coalition’s first Executive Director, Amy guides the Coalition operations and stakeholder engagement with various health care policy organizations such as Congress, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Institute of Health, National Academy of Sciences-Institute of Medicine, National Quality Forum, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Patient Quality of Life Coalition and the Joint Commission.

Prior to joining the Coalition, Amy was the Vice President, Advocacy, for the Arthritis Foundation in Washington D.C. where she successfully advocated for the creation of a congressionally directed federally funded research program at the Department of Defense for arthritis research. Amy has also represented physicians, scientists, and nurses, while serving as the Vice President for Health Policy at the Heart Rhythm Society. She began her career on Capitol Hill as Committee Staff at the US House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Aging where she focused on issues affecting older Americans. Amy attended the London School of Economics and Political Science and received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College (BA) and her Masters of Public Administration from George Mason University (MPA).

Clare Chmiel ​
HPNA Government Affairs
Hospice and Palliative Nurse Association (HPNA)


Clare Chmiel serves as a Government Affairs Analyst in the Public Policy and Government Affairs group. She brings more than eight years of Congressional experience to her representation of a wide range of corporate and non-profit clients.  Ms. Chmiel provides strategic advice to clients on government policy, analyzes legislation, and interfaces directly with congressional offices on a range of issues.

Prior to joining Bryan Cave, Ms. Chmiel served on the Washington, DC staff of U.S. Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D, CA-06). Ms. Chmiel also has extensive experience working on political campaigns and national fundraising for Members of Congress such as Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), ret. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), and ret. Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA).

Ms. Chmiel received her B.A. from DePaul University (Chicago, IL), where she double majored in Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies, and was a 4-year letter Division 1 athlete for the DePaul Women’s Tennis Team.

Matt Duckworth
Vice President, Government Relations, Hart Health Strategies Inc.
American Academy for Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)


Matt Duckworth joined the Hart Health Strategies Inc. team in June 2013 as Vice President of Government Relations. In this role, Matt works directly with Members of Congress and their staff from key healthcare committees on Capitol Hill, as well as agency officials within the Department of Health and Human Services. He also provides guidance in the areas of strategic and grassroots advocacy, coalition management, social media, meeting and coalition facilitation, and the planning and implementing of advocacy conferences. In addition to these areas, Matt produces and hosts the Hart Health Strategies Inc weekly podcast, Health on the Hill. Matt previously served as the Executive Director of a congressional advocacy firm, Prime Advocacy. At the beginning of his career, Matt spent time in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Matt received his B.A. in Speech Communication and Political Science from the University of Georgia. He currently serves as a mentor to students taking part in the University’s Washington Semester Program.

Theresa M. Forster
VP for Hospice Policy & Programs
National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)


Theresa M. Forster has served as Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs at the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) since 2010. As such she directs the association’s legislative, regulatory and other policy efforts on behalf of hospice organizations. Between 1996 and 2010 Forster served as NAHC’s Vice President for Policy with responsibility for coordinating the organization’s legislative, regulatory, research, and legal efforts.

Between 1993 and 1996 Forster served as Staff Director of the Special Committee on Aging of the United States Senate. In that capacity, she directed the Committee’s oversight and investigative efforts into issues affecting the nation’s senior citizen population. Forster also served for 11 years as an advisor on aging, health, income maintenance and welfare issues to U.S. Senator David Pryor of Arkansas in his capacity as a member of the Senate Finance and Aging Committees.

Forster holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Social Work.

Mark Slobodien, JD
Director of Legislative Affairs
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization(NHPCO)


Mark is a seasoned lobbyist with years of experience on Capitol Hill and lobbying for other non-profit organizations. He excels in strategic thinking and finding a path forward. He is responsible for implementing the legislative agenda as set by NHPCO’s Legislative Affairs Committee.


April 7, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm