Winter 2020

The District Policy Group Digest

The District Policy Group (DPG) has a busy schedule of events for 2020, with and for our clients. The sampling of recent and upcoming events included below illustrates our ongoing commitment to full-service visibility and to providing thought leadership at key industry happenings.

We are thrilled to announce that in December DPG leaders Ilisa Halpern Paul and Jodie Curtis were named “Top Lobbyists” in Washington, D.C. by The Hill ─ the fifth straight year for Ilisa and the third for Jodie. This prestigious honor is for those government relationship specialists who “stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration.”

As this election year unfolds, replete with major happenings across Washington, the DPG team again offers to provide its engaging and insightful “Beltway Crystal Ball” presentations. DPG can help cut through the noise and the fog to provide a pragmatic outlook at the federal legislative and regulatory policy agendas and offer recommendations to help you prepare for what’s next. Our members are available to present in person or via webcast to audiences of all sizes. Call soon to schedule your presentation for audiences of all sizes.

We are maintaining a comprehensive, up-to-date “Congressional Retirement Tracker” to assist clients with the shifting composition of Congress, including committee assignments. The DPG Tracker is updated weekly, unless there is no new information to report.

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Team News

Ilisa Halpern Paul, President of the DPG, will speak at Columbia University on February 15, 2020, serving as a guest lecturer for the Mailman School of Public Health Executive Master in Public Health Program. She will speak on the federal legislative and regulatory policymaking processes and ways health professionals and hospital system executives can influence the development and outcome of health policy.

Paul also will serve as the facilitator for an all-day forum hosted by the Innovation and Value Initiative (IVI) in Washington, D.C. on February 27. The summit, titled “Defining Needs and Progress Toward Improving Methods in Value Assessment,” will bring together leaders representing patients, clinicians, health plans, life sciences industry professionals, researchers and health care purchasers to engage in dialogue and prioritize actions to build consensus on research methods and the future direction for value assessment. IVI seeks to advance the science and improve the practice of value assessment in health care.


DPG Executive Vice President Jodie Curtis recently attended an international convening in Brighton, UK, to discuss countries’ plans for bringing attention to neglected tropical diseases, the burden they cause and how to bolster the ongoing fight against them. The World Health Organization defines neglected tropical diseases as “a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries” that “affect more than one billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year.”

Through her work as co-chair of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Roundtable on behalf of ASTMH, Curtis helped achieve passage of the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). This is the first federal legislation regarding neglected tropical diseases It will bolster the U.S. government’s programs that work to end neglected tropical diseases, declaring, “It is the policy of the United States to support a broad range of implementation and research and development activities that work toward the achievement of cost-effective and sustainable treatment, control, and where possible, elimination of neglected tropical diseases for the economic and social well-being of all people.”


Laura Hanen, DPG Senior Vice President, will host a celebration on January 28 of the passage of legislation to reauthorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which was included in the year-end funding package. On behalf of DPG client the Alliance for Aging Research, Hanen and DPG Senior Advisor Phil Gingrey, M.D., guided the Friends of PCORI Reauthorization coalition in achieving the 10-year reauthorization of PCORI, ensuring continued support for critical research that helps patients and providers make evidence-based health care decisions. The coalition consists of 250 entities representing patients, family caregivers, health providers, biopharma/life science companies, payers, and other interested entities and individuals. The coalition was co-chaired by Dr. Gingrey and the Honorable Tony Coelho, Former U.S. Representative and Chairman, Partnership to Improve Patient Care.


Jim Twaddell, DPG Senior Vice President, recently held legislative and regulatory government relations planning sessions for the second session of the 116th Congress with a number of the clients he supports, including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA). As 2019 came to an end, Twaddell accompanied ANNA President Tamara Kear and former ANNA President Donna Bednarski to a year-end Board Meeting of Kidney Care Partners in Washington, D.C.

Firm News

Effective February 1, 2020, Drinker Biddle & Reath will combine with Faegre Baker Daniels to become Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (Faegre Drinker). Look for our new brand in future communications. As we take our place among the top 50 AmLaw firms, the new Faegre Drinker builds upon and reflects our current firms’ shared values and cultures. See our press release to learn more.

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