Pre-COVID, people generally perceived healthcare as hard to navigate, exceedingly expensive, insufficient and sometimes ineffective. But what will people think of healthcare in the years to come? Well, that depends on who is shaping the conversations.

For decades, thought leaders have focused on moving healthcare policy and big ideas forward, but healthcare’s current period of transformation provides even greater opportunity for leadership and change. Through our work with clients, we have partnered with organizations in Washington, D.C., to generate discussions among, host events for and share innovative ideas with policymakers, target customers, other thought leaders and the public.

Conversations with leading think tanks, alliances, and nonprofits can be especially important for healthcare companies, since many policymakers look to such groups to guide future healthcare policy discussions. By positioning your company as a thought leader through strategic outreach to healthcare policy influencers, you can ensure that your policy messages resonate at a deeper level and open doors for additional opportunities beyond traditional lobbying and pure media relations. To help jumpstart your influencer outreach efforts, we have put together a list of the top healthcare organizations in the D.C. area.

Top Six D.C. Healthcare Policy Influencer Organizations:

  1. The Center for American Progress (CAP) is a public policy research and advocacy organization shaping the national policy debate on economic and social issues. Visit their healthcare website for more information on CAP’s work, which includes key topics like changes to Medicare, high drug prices, and surprise billing.
  2. The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC) is a coalition of chief executives from all disciplines within American healthcare. It is an exclusive forum for the nation’s healthcare leaders to jointly develop policies, plans, and programs to achieve their vision of a 21st century healthcare system that makes affordable, high-quality care accessible to all Americans. HLC’s key issues include the accessibility, quality and innovative future of healthcare.
  3. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. By working alongside others and placing well-being at the center of every aspect of life, RWJF aims to build a national Culture of Health. The foundation is focused on the following areas: health systems, healthy communities, healthy children and families, and leadership for better health.
  4. The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges. RAND Health Care promotes healthier societies by improving care systems in the U.S. and other countries. Key topics within their health umbrella include opioids, U.S. health policy, paying for care, organizing care, quality of care and mental health.
  5. The Health, Medicine and Society Program (HMS) is the domestic health initiative of the Aspen Institute. HMS brings together influential groups of thought leaders, decisionmakers and the informed public to consider health challenges facing the U.S. in the 21st century and to identify practical solutions for addressing them. Their rigorously nonpartisan work spans a range of timely topics — from the opioid epidemic, end-of-life care and gun violence to public health communication, health systems innovation and much more.
  6. KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) is a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the role the U.S. plays in global health policy. Through its own policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, KFF serves as a non-partisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public. KFF topics include: COVID-19, global health policy, health costs, health reform, HIV/AIDS, Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, uninsured and women’s health policy.

If you’re interested in working with healthcare policy influencers to shape the conversation on an issue or if you’re following an innovative organization that we should add to our watch list, we would love to hear from you! Reach out to to connect with our team.


RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based communications firm with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.