News & Media

Meet the MSMS Government Relations Team

Meet the MSMS Government Relations Team

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

What is Government Relations?

One of the most effective ways of letting elected officials know an organization’s views on issues is through personal meetings. In political terms, this is called lobbying. The MSMS Government Relations team provides elected officials with the information they need to make the best decisions for their constituencies.

We also try to connect legislators directly with their constituents. Elected officials pay attention to mass numbers. When a group of people from a lawmaker’s district request a meeting, email, or call about a particular issue, the lawmaker wants to hear their point of view. As experts in their field, physicians in mass numbers can truly help officials understand the benefits or pitfalls of a piece of legislation.

For more information on how to stand up for your practice, your profession, and your patients, visit: MSMS.org/Engage

Josiah Kissling – Senior Director, State and Federal Government Relations




·         Legislative Director for Speakers Tom Leonard and Lee Chatfield

·         Budget Director for Speaker Kevin Cotter

·         Deputy Policy Director and Policy Advisor for the House Republican Caucus

What drew you to this work?
Growing up, politics, policy making, and public service were in my blood. My grandfather served his local community at the township level, and I have several other family members that are involved in state or county government as well. Seeing politics up close as a child, grew my interest in the realm of public service, and as I grew older, I sought out opportunities to make an impact on the state and federal legislative processes.

I found my calling working on state legislative staff. I was able to put down roots on key issues, which included digging in on insurance policy, leading negotiations on the appropriations process for the House, criminal justice reform, simplifying Michigan’s adoption requirements, and attempting (and failing) to find a solution for funding our crumbling roads in bridges.

What is your favorite part of working with the Legislature?
I began my time serving in the legislature when I was 19. During my nearly 14 years of public service, I became a student of the legislative process, and I learned to deeply appreciate the institution. However, the best part of working with the legislature is the people, and the ability, even at the staff level, to have a real impact on the development of good public policy. I will forever be grateful for the lessons I learned during my time in public service. I will always carry those experiences with me, they helped shape who I am today, and they will continue to impact me in the years ahead. 

In my new role at MSMS, I have enjoyed the opportunity to advocate for key health care issues, and to learn a different perspective on the legislature and the process. Advancing the cause of organized medicine is a great opportunity for me, and I am look forward to serving with each of you.

 

Kate Dorsey
Manager, State and Federal Government Relations


·         Bachelor’s and Master’s in Communication from Central Michigan University

·         Legislative Aide for Representative Lisa Brown

·         Worked in Government Relations for Oakland Schools ISD

What drew you to this work?
One of my earliest memories is my mother taking my sister and I with her to vote. Our polling location was the fire station, which was very exciting, and all the poll workers were so delighted to see us there. So I got the message from an early age that being active in the political process was 1) just a part of life, a thing you did, and 2) extremely cool. Civic engagement was always quietly in the background of our lives and my parents never shied away from talking about issues with me.

What is your favorite part of working with the Legislature?
I love that we here at MSMS are educating the legislature on science-driven policy. During a time of tumult and uncertainty, we get to be a voice of reason and focus on the facts.  What we do may be a drop in the bucket, but it all adds up. Knowing that I can have even a small impact makes the work worth it.

Scott Kempa
Manager, State and Federal Government Relations


·         Bachelor of Science in Economics from Michigan State University

·         Over six years of experience working in the Michigan Legislature, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives

·         Most recently served as the Legislative Director for Representative Mike Mueller

What drew you to this work?
I developed an interest in politics at a young age, mostly thanks to my dad who always seemed to be watching a political talk show.  When I was a sophomore in college, I got an opportunity to intern in my state Senator’s office and instantly fell in love with the inner workings of government.  Not only did I enjoy working on some of the most hot-topic issues in our state, but knowing that my work was helping people in my own community and across the state is what really drew me to this work.

What is your favorite part of working with the Legislature? 
As one of the voices representing such a vital and important profession, I love having the opportunity to collaborate with Michigan’s top physicians and help shape the policies that affect health care across Michigan.