Weekly Policy Blog: CBSA’s 2024 Day at the Capitol 

CBSA held its annual Day at the Capitol event on February 28. CBSA members, legislators, and legislative staff first gathered for a health innovation company showcase and networking, which highlighted the Colorado life sciences community’s important work and its impact on the state. For example, AOA Diagnostics brought awareness to the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer and educated the community on enrollment for their multi-center national OVERT clinical trial. Impactful stories were shared by companies like AlloSource, which featured their AlloGrafts and the memoir Over My Shoulder: A Columbine Survivor’s Story of Resilience, Hope, and a Life Reclaimed by Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson.   

“Surviving the tragedy at Columbine was just the beginning,” said Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson. “The gift of tissue donation, through allografts from AlloSource, saved my arm and gave me a renewed belief in life, love, and hope. I am incredibly grateful for where I am today, and the fact that I can hug everyone in my family with both arms.”        

Thank you to the following showcase companies for sharing how your health innovations are changing and saving patients’ lives: 

CBSA President & CEO Elyse Blazevich kicked off the morning’s programming with opening remarks and introduced the new Colorado Hub for Health Impact national economic development campaign launched by CBSA and a consortium of 22 Colorado partners to position Colorado as America’s epicenter for talent, investors, and life science-centric companies looking to start, relocate, or expand in our state. 

The keynote address from Dan Leonard, Executive Director of We Work For Health, further underscored the importance of the life sciences ecosystem to the state. Dan highlighted two new reports:  

CBSA Vice President and Counsel for Policy + Advocacy Amy Goodman and CBSA’s lobbying team from Colorado Legislative Strategies provided a state advocacy update that included a general overview of the 2024 legislative session, an overview of CBSA’s advocacy and key themes and priorities, and updates on key bills that CBSA is supporting, opposing, and hoping to amend. At this point in the session, CBSA is: 

Amy Goodman then moderated a panel on key legislative and regulatory issues relevant to CBSA members: 

  • Kristina Hermach, Senior Director of State Government Affairs with Gilead Sciences, spoke about the Colorado Prescription Drug Affordability Board. 
  • Darbi Gottlieb, Director of State Government and Regional Affairs with AdvaMed, discussed the state’s regulation of toxic air contaminants as it applies to medical device manufacturers that use ethylene oxide (EtO) for sterilization. 
  • R.J. Ours, Colorado Government Relations Director with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), covered challenges related to the passage of biomarker testing coverage legislation. 
  • Mason Barrett, Policy Analyst with the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), outlined the implementation of Rare Disease Advisory Councils (RDACs) in Colorado and across the country. 
  • Cally King Newman, Senior Project Manager with the Keystone Policy Center, shared more details about the Advanced Industries Task Force Colorado recently convened to make recommendations regarding incentives to attract and promote the development of advanced manufacturing and other STEM companies in Colorado. 

Finally, Amgen Director of State Government Affairs and CBSA Board of Directors Chair Kathleen (Kiki) Traylor, M.D., wrapped up the morning programming with a thank you to our speakers, showcase companies, event sponsors, and special guests. We greatly appreciate the following event sponsors making this year’s Day at the Capitol event possible: 

CBSA rounded out the 2024 Day at the Capitol by arranging meetings with four legislators: Representative Sheila Lieder, Representative Ron Weinberg, Senator Joann Ginal, and Senator Kyle Mullica (who was represented by his Senior Legislative Aide Shasta Stone after getting pulled into a committee hearing). Legislators and CBSA members had an opportunity to discuss their key priorities, specific challenges they’re currently facing, and how we can all work together to solve problems. 

Categories: CBSA News