ABA Health eSource
October 2009 Volume 6 Number 2

Chair's Column
By David W. Hilgers, Brown McCarroll, L.L.P., Austin, TX

David HilgersAs Chair, I am excited to tout one of the most outstanding benefits available from the Health Law Section. In this column I want to extol the wonders of Washington, D.C. in the fall, particularly on October 26th and 27th. Those are the dates of one of the premier annual health law conferences — the Washington Healthcare Summit. Once again we will be meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City across the Potomac from D.C.

There are numerous reasons that this conference is one of the best around. Because of its location in D.C., this conference is able to provide access to some of the top regulators, staffers from the Hill, and legislators involved in healthcare. Particularly, in this year, the opportunity to hear the latest on healthcare reform from the participants in this drama cannot be ignored. In addition, this year we have as a keynote speaker Paul Begala, one of the well-known commentators on the various TV networks. He’s always thought-provoking and entertaining.

As good as these presentations will be, they don’t really get to one of the essential values that the Health Law Section and particularly the Washington Summit provides. This is a more intimate conference with real opportunity to talk to the presenters and your colleagues and discuss these issues. You, too, can hear government officials report on developments not yet publicized and have an opportunity to discuss them further. This kind of access is rare at any other type of conference.

Washington in October is a glorious time for visiting the city. Fall has arrived, the colors are wonderful, the air is crisp, and temperature is fabulous (coming from this summer in Texas that sounds fantastic). The city offers innumerable activities. Try the free Smithsonian museums, such as the National Air & Space Museum, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the Portrait Gallery, and many others. If you have seen those, then you can visit the elegant and evocative memorials, such as the Korean, the Vietnam Veterans, the Lincoln, the Jefferson, the Roosevelt, and the new World War II. Alternatively, there are numerous other private museums and attractions, such as the Corcoran Art Gallery, the Phillips Collection, the International Spy Museum, the new Newseum, and others. Visit your Congressman and give your thoughts on healthcare, take a trip through the zoo, or now you can even tour the sites of Dan Brown’s new novel, The Lost Symbol. And, of course, there are the wonderful restaurants.

Pentagon City is located just outside of D.C. in Arlington, both of which have great restaurants of all types. In Pentagon City itself there are a number of interesting restaurants, featuring Ethiopian, Italian, Thai and Greek food. My wife always wants to come to this conference because of the wonderful time she has seeing the new places and attractions that D.C. always offers.

Of course, many of our participants at the Washington Summit are from the D.C. area. It is a short metro ride to Pentagon City. You can enjoy free food, free drink, and a chance to catch up with colleagues from D.C. Further, if you want to linger after the conference, you can go across the street to the Pentagon City Mall and do some shopping. It’s a one-stop venue for D.C. registrants.

It’s happening soon and you know you need a break. It’s just a short plane or metro ride away for a wonderful opportunity to get serious exposure to the events in Washington today and a great city at a great time—maybe even make a vacation out of it. We look forward to seeing you there.

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