The Advocacy committee identifies priority health issues related to health education and empowers InSOPHE members to advocate for funding, science-based policies, and health education issues.
As public health professionals, InSOPHE members must be able to see beyond health fairs and information booths. It's our job to create public health changes in our community. How can InSOPHE members do that? By advocating for what we believe in!
Health education is important to increase awareness in the community, but the next step is to get key decision makers to support public health policies. It's proven that smoke-free policies are more effective to decrease smoking rates than cessation classes, and that health and safety legislation saves lives and money. So why aren't we knocking down the doors of our legislators?
Health educators are mostly seen at the "grassroots" level, creating and conducting programs to those in need. InSOPHE knows that's important, but we need to be seen more at the "grasstops" level meeting with legislators and key decision makers to let them know the importance of public health policies. Not only will our voices be heard, but people will see us as the experts in public health. You are not only advocating for public health, but for public health professionals as well. InSOPHE can help you become a great public health advocate.
Hot Topics in Advocacy
Sign APHA's Environmental Impact Advocacy Letters
President Obama outlined multiple public health initiatives in his recent State of the Union Address, including paid sick leave, affordable childcare and healthcare coverage options, and stricter environmental policies. The American Public Health Association has launched an advocacy campaign to support efforts to impact environmental policy. You can sign their petition to support the Environmental Protection Agency in their efforts to clean up carbon pollution and place stricter emission standards on power plants here. A second letter writing campaign is focused on upholding the Clean Air Act and reject measures aimed at hampering EPA efforts to enact and enforce clean air policies. You can participate in this campaign by clicking here.
Become an Advocate for Obesity Prevention
The National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) has partnered with communities across the southern United States to develop a series of national resources and training curriculum to support the engagement and training of healthcare professionals to become advocates for obesity prevention within their communities (NICHQ, 2015). On their website, you will find a number of advocacy tools for potential use in your own community.
See more here.
SOPHE Advocacy Priorities
InSOPHE participated in the Hoosiers for a Healthier Indiana advocacy event, during which community members and public health professionals requested a $1 tobacco tax increase be included in the state budget, with those funds directed back to public health initiatives.
Through Project Vote Smart you can learn about your candidates and elected officials in five basic categories: biographical information, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances, and interest group ratings. Go to vote-smart.org for more information.
Stay informed on Indiana bills and/or resolutions scheduled for action on the House and Senate floors with BillWatch. Go there now to sign up for this free service. Also you can review the list of bills by subject area.
The Indiana General Assembly web site will provide you with information on how to determine your legislator, their contact information, bill watch information, useful links, current session information and much more. The website is a great resource for everyone to learn more about Indiana state government.