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I'm at the AMA meeting—don't tell anyone

The American Medical Association has found a friend. After a string of high-profile guests appeared before the AMA's National Advocacy Conference this week in Washington, Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) was the first to tell anyone.

At first I thought Schwartz had continued the trend of big names going to AMA events but not publicizing their appearances. These included notable physicians U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Reps. Phil Gingrey and Tom Price, both Georgia Republicans, at the AMA House of Delegates meeting in November. And then CNN commentator David Gergen, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Dr. Phil Roe, a Republican Congressman from Tennessee, CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, and CMS acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner all attended the conference this week without issuing a news release, sending a Twitter message, or posting anything on websites or Facebook pages.

What I was looking for was something like Price's Feb. 13 tweet, referencing the Conservative Political Action Conference, that he was "Headed to #cpac this morning. Looking forward to what's always a great event." He and the others said nothing similar about the AMA conference.

I thought Schwartz continued the trend because the AMA issued a release on Feb. 15 announcing that Schwartz (the wife of a cardiologist, by the way) had been honored with its Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. Not only couldn't I find anything about the award on Schwartz's website, but also there wasn't even a quote (or, as my colleague Joseph Conn calls them, a "piece of canned ham") from Schwartz on the AMA release.

But a release was posted Feb. 16 announcing the honor, and Schwartz spokeswoman Tali Caiazza told me that journalists on her press list were e-mailed a copy of Schwartz's speech on the afternoon of Feb. 14.

Caiazza noted that Schwartz does not have a Twitter account and that only her campaign website, not her congressional website, has a Facebook page.

Caiazza added that the "beautiful award" is on display in the front of the Congresswoman's office. "It’s definitely not hidden," she said.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks.

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