Gov't relations pro joins association

Sunday, December 31, 2006

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- AAHomecare bolstered its government relations department in November when it hired Walter Gorski, who has served as director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) since 2001.
At AOPA, Gorski worked with new AAHomecare CEO Tyler Wilson, who previously headed that association.
"What he brings is a good, solid understanding of Medicare Part B," said Wilson. "He's got a long history of working with folks on the Hill."
Gorski may not be the last government relations staffer AAHomecare hires. Wilson said he's "looking at our budget for 2007 and trying to find a way where we can bring on one additional person."
Adding Gorski is an effort by AAHomecare to strengthen its in-house government relations department so it can rely less on outside lobbying firms, Wilson said.
"I feel strongly that an association, if it is going to do a lot in government relations, needs a strong team of its own," said Wilson. "An outside firm is never going to understand the intricacies of the issues as well as inside staff."
AAHomecare will continue to use outside lobbyists to gain access to key officials on Capitol Hill, he added.
In all, Gorski has 15 years of lobbying experience. He also served on the staff of the House's Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and covered Part B and other DMEPOS-related issues at AOPA.
With a slew of new congressmen headed for Washington, Gorski said he looks forward to building a bipartisan approach to advocacy.
"Historically, I think a new Congress presents new opportunity," he said. "I look forward to working with members of the association and getting the homecare message out to policy-makers inside and outside the beltway."