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Legislative Key Contact Program

Our medical societies’ effectiveness in the legislative arena depends on members who are fully engaged, who advocate with their societies on key issues. The greater our access to lawmakers, the more opportunities we have to influence health care policy.

So vital is member participation that the Chicago Medical Society (CMS) has launched a “Key Contacts” program that encourages and trains physicians on forming personal connections with their local elected representatives.

As a Key Contact volunteer, members learn to cultivate a meaningful connection with a lawmaker or someone running for elected office. And those who already personally know a legislator are encouraged to build on their acquaintance or relationship with the legislator. CMS will mentor volunteers who request support or want guidance on building such relationships.

Specific duties of a Key Contact include periodically communicating information and conveying CMS’ views on specific legislation or other advocacy activities, as well as reporting CMS events and goals. Volunteers also may interact with legislative staff and report back on their efforts to their Districts and CMS leadership. This two-way information exchange keeps volunteers up to date on issues within their communities.

Volunteers can get acquainted with an official by supporting a campaign, or by getting involved in a campaign. Hosting a fundraiser in one’s home for the candidate or elected individual is a powerful way to advocate.

Key Contacts can access legislators through less formal routes. Elected officials often live in the same community as a Key Contact, frequent the same clubs, civic organizations, or religious institutions, have children in the same school, share some type of family relationship; be alumni of the same school or university; or have received the CMS member’s personal support for their election to office.

Whatever the relationship, access creates an opportunity for more effective communication. Our organizations’ ability to influence health care policy depends on a cadre of Key Contacts.

CMS encourages members to sign up for the Key Contact program. You can complete the form online by going to our website:


Kathy M. Tynus, MD
Chicago Medical Society

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