ANNA Hires Government Relations Firm to Expand Legislative Initiatives To ensure that the voice of nephrology nurses continues to be heard in Washington, ANNA has hired a government relations firm to help advocate for better care, reimbursement, and legislation that has an impact on nursing and nephrology-related issues. Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP (GCD), based in Washington, D.C., will replace Nancy J. Sharp, MSN, RN, FAAN, who has served as ANNAs legislative consultant for 5 years. Ms. Sharp managed her own firm, Sharp & Associates, in Bethesda, MD, and worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers about kidney disease and fuel ANNAs successful legislative activities. She will continue to promote telehealth, telenursing, and the evolving world of electronic practice as well as monitor general legislative and regulatory issues for nurse practitioners. Beginning in January 2006, GCD will work directly with ANNA to strengthen the associations ties to Congress and federal agencies, expand ANNAs existing advocacy programs, and promote implementation of ANNAs strategic plan. Key staff members at GCD include Robert Waters, Ilisa Halpern, and James Twadell. ANNA appreciates Nancy Sharps energetic advocacy for nephrology nurses and her willingness to serve as our legislative consultant well beyond her intended tenure, ANNA President Suzann VanBuskirk, BSN, RN, CNN, said. ANNA is recognized within the renal community for its successful grassroots advocacy. I believe that GCDs experience in government relations with other nursing organizations will allow ANNA to expand the critical role of nephrology nurses in the public policy activities so crucial in the current health care environment. Advancing quality care to Americans with kidney disease, increasing awareness and educating legislators are some of ANNAs primary goals. GCD will help the association expand its legislative and public policy agendas, clinical priorities, and member participation at the grassroots level. GCD will also: Monitor legislative and regulatory activity, Evaluate proposed legislation and advise ANNA on effective action, Provide contact with Congress and federal agencies, Serve as ANNAs Washington liaison, and Engage members at the local, state and national levels in health policy advocacy initiatives.