Overview of the New Congress and Tips for Meeting with Your Members of Congress

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Overview of the New Congress and Tips for Meeting with Your Members of Congress

As a health care professional who treats addiction, you understand the impact that federal and state legislation has on your practice and your patients. At ASAM, we are committed to elevating the voices of addiction medicine among key policymakers. ASAM's new grasstops program, the Addiction Medicine Action Network (AMAN), aims to leverage members’ advocacy relationships with lawmakers and expand member's advocacy skills.

In this first training for AMAN members, Cornerstone’s Erik Fatemi, will provide an overview of the 117th Congress; the 2021 national legislative landscape, and how Addiction Medicine Action Network participants and others can conduct successful, virtual Hill visits.    

Interested in joining the Network? Whether you have existing advocacy relationships with lawmakers or simply want to develop new ones, consider applying for the ASAM Addiction Medicine Action Network (AMAN). As a member of AMAN, you will have access to advanced advocacy trainings and individualized advocacy support, and your work may be amplified and recognized through various communication channels. You can apply for AMAN by clicking here and completing the brief, online application.

Session Information

Date:  Live on Monday, March 22, 2021 as part of ASAM's Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference, this session is now available on-demand as a recorded webinar.  


  • Erik Fatemi

Learning Objectives

By completing this session, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the New Congress and its committees of jurisdiction most relevant to addiction medicine
  2. Describe the 2021 legislative landscape
  3. Apply tips and best practices for conducting virtual meetings with members of Congress and their staff.

Erik Fatemi



Erik Fatemi joined Cornerstone in 2013 after serving 12 years on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education under Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA). From February 2010 through October 2013 Erik served as the subcommittee’s staff director.

During his time in the Senate he oversaw the entire breadth of funding and policy issues in the subcommittee’s jurisdiction, developing particular expertise in the areas of biomedical research and early childhood, secondary and higher education. He specialized in NIH issues for that entire period and is the only non-NIH employee ever to receive the NIH Director’s Award. His other honors include the 2014 Staff Recognition Award from the Committee for Education Funding for his work on the Appropriations Committee. Erik was the Senate’s key representative during negotiations with the House of Representatives and White House over the annual Labor-HHS-Education spending measure, and as a result of this position he maintains extensive relationships within the Executive Branch and both chambers of Congress.

Prior to Capitol Hill, Erik worked for a dozen years as a reporter, editor and columnist at various news organizations, most recently at Education Week, where he directed the publication’s coverage of federal education policy and education technology. Erik holds a degree in English from Princeton University.  He is married and has three girls.


On-Demand Recording: Overview of the New Congress and Tips for Meeting with Your Members of Congress
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