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16th Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit

Monday, March 18, 2013   (0 Comments)
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The 16th Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit was held from March 2-4, 2013 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC. The Summit was sponsored by the Coalition of Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) which is comprised of 10 organizations including DHPE. CNHEO's primary mission is the mobilization of the resources of the Health Education Profession in order to expand and improve health education, regardless of the setting. The Coalition's role is to:

  • Facilitate national level communication, collaboration and coordination among the member organizations.
  • Provide a forum for the identification and discussion of health education issues.
  • Formulate recommendations and take appropriate action on issues affecting member interests.
  • Serve as a communication and advisory resource for agencies, organizations and persons in the public and private sectors on health education issues.

The Coalition also serves as a focus for the exploration and resolution of issues pertinent to professional health educators.

 The 2013 Summit Priority Issues were:

  1. Advancing Social Justice, Equal Opportunity & Community Well-being
  2. The Value of Investing in Prevention
  3. Elevating Health Education and Physical Education

DHPE's four representatives were Susan Goekler, PhD, MCHES, Executive Director; Lavell R. Thornton, MCHES, DHPE Voting Member from South Carolina and chair of DHPE's Health Policy Committee; Michael Jones, RN, DHPE Associate Member from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and member of DHPE's Health Policy Committee; and, Doreleena Sammons-Posey, SM, DHPE's Training and Marketing Director. (Pictured below: Sammons-Posey, Goekler, Jones and Thornton).

The Summit consisted of training on advocacy including the use of social media, issue-specific content, skits showing how and how not to conduct a Hill visit, and planning for Hill visits. Summit organizers arranged visits to the offices of members of both the House and Senate for the official representatives of the Coalition member organizations.

In addition to organizational representatives, interested individuals, many of whom were health education students and their faculty mentors, participated in the Summit. Among the groups of college students was a large contingent from North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a HBCU school from which DHPE has recruited many interns. The picture below is of the NCCU contingent studying their briefing documents and planning their Hill Visits.

Bright and early on Monday March 5th everyone headed to the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill for a group photo (can you find us?) followed by "Life on the Hill” presentations by three Congressional staffers: Caren Howard (Legislative Correspondent, Rep. John Sarbanes D-MD); James "J.P.” Pauluskiewicz (Deputy Chief of Staff, Rep. Michael Burgess R-TX); and, Caleb L. Gilchrist, PhD (Senior Policy Advisor, Rep. Danny K. Davis D-IL).

For the visits, we divided into small groups. In addition to Congressional office visits, one group of leaders that included Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES Executive Director of SOPHE; Susan Goekler; Jeffery S. Hallam, representing APHA; and Doreleena Sammons-Posey met with federal agency leaders from the Washington DC Offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the US Department of Education (DOE); the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH); and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Below is a photo from our visit to the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH). Pictured from left to right are: Elaine Auld; Susan Goekler; Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health; Jeffery S. Hallam; Commander Jacqueline Rodrigue, OMH Deputy Director; and Doreleena Sammons-Posey.

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