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A Word from NASL President John Damgaard Dear NASL Members & Friends: Welcome to our Nation’s capital and to NASL’s Winter Conference! Recently, I heard the Acting Secretary of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Eric Hargan address the initial meeting of the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC). A veteran of the Bush Administration, he explained that "the highest coin a Department can pay is having the Secretary work personally on [an issue]." He’s right – having leadership – of a company or a federal agency – engaged in an issue reflects just how important that issue is. Looking around this conference and at the leadership we have here and at NASL meetings and calls throughout the year, I’d say NASL has earned some serious coin. It is especially gratifying to see NASL being recognized for its unique role in representing the ancillary services that serve the long term and post-acute care (LTPAC) sector. To have leaders from Congress and the Administration, who are eager to join us for this conference each year, and who seek out our input on proposed policy changes and infrastructure is humbling. We know that these opportunities do not exist for all associations. That tells me that your input – your willingness to contribute thoughtful feedback on proposed legislation and regulation – is making a difference. It is helping us to ensure that your voice – and our collective voices – are heard by the policymakers who are dictating the rules by which we all live and run our businesses. Just as surely as health information technology and innovations are changing how we go about our daily lives, NASL is helping us to navigate the policy changes ahead. Thanks to each of you for making time to be here and to all of our sponsors whose support makes this event possible. Sincerely, John Damgaard President NASL Board of Directors 1 NASL 2018 Winter Conference