Being a health advocate allows you to influence the way the public and policymakers think and act on public health policies. This assignment will provide you the opportunity to advocate at a local level.
- Your first task is to visit either the American Public Health Association’s priorities webpage at https://apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/advocacy-for-public-health/priorities, or the American School Health Association’s advocacy section https://www.ashaweb.org/advocacy-priority-areas-and-core-beliefs-in-action/ or the Ohio SOPHE website: http://www.sophe.org/advocacy/.
- Select an area of interest represented in the priority sections of these organizations. Research the status of this health issue. This is your chance to familiarize yourself with this issue, legislation active or proposed, disparity, or gap in services etc… Gather any pertinent information possible that is useful as background knowledge. Look nationally and then look locally. Is the community/entity where you live or work experiencing these issues? What is being done?
- Based on the information you gathered, as well as sample advocacy materials from these national professional health organizations, use an existing template or draft an advocacy letter of your own. Your letter should be no longer than 2 pages and should clearly state what you believe to be the issue and how you expect your local source to address it. In your letter you may choose to briefly outline the problem (please cite any references used in text) and thank them for their past support of/action on this issue or challenge them to reconsider their stance on the issue. To receive credit for this assignment, you do not have to mail your letter, however, consider it since you did the research and the work! NOTE: COVID is an overarching issue we face right now. Do you want to express your appreciation, frustration, or offer your expertise to a local entity such as a school, store, or your place of employment? Do local police station not carry Narcan, but you believe they should? Is a local convenience store known to be selling alcohol or tobacco products to?
underage youth? Does your place of employment have a culture that is not welcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals? There is a lot of space for advocacy right under our noses J
Now imagine that you were able to meet with a decision maker in the local space you have selected, prepare for the meeting. If you can meet with them, create a one-page document with talking points that would guide this discussion. Advocacy works best when we both talk and listen, so be sure to include points to make and questions to ask.
- During the semester, please track the progress and status of your efforts. To complete this assignment, the following items should be submitted to the instructor:
- Summary of the health issue, nationally and locally [50 points]
- Advocacy letter [25 points]
- Talking points document [25 points]
- Personal reflection of lessons learned, impression of meeting, and importance of legislation/advocacy, etc. (4-5 pages) [50 points]