Investing in Prevention Saves Lives and Money!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Advocating For Public Health Where It Counts
The Directors of Health Promotion and Education (DHPE)
along with other partner organizations and organizational members of the
Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) descended
enthusiastically upon Capitol Hill for the 15th Annual Health Education
Advocacy (HEA) Summit in Washington, DC on March 3-5, 2012.
The CNHEO sponsors the annual Summit.
The CNHEO is a non-profit 501© (3) federation
of eight national organizations, with a primary mission to mobilize and expand
the reach and resources of the Health Education Profession in all settings.
The 2012 HEA Summit was sponsored by: the American College
Health Association, American Association for Health Education, American Public
Health Association (Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section),
Directors of Health Promotion andEducation, Society for Public Health
Education, Eta Sigma Gamma, Association of Accredited Public Health Programs,
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, and the National Association
of Chronic Disease Directors.
The Summit provides both first-time and veteran advocates
opportunities to obtain primary, intermediate and advanced advocacy skills and
intensive training on core advocacy issues. A key focus area was learning how
to better develop and deliver effective messaging. There were over 220
participants including public health organizational leaders, faculty,
practitioners, and students.
Lavell Thornton (SC), DHPE Advocacy Committee Chair and
Debi Nelson (NC), DHPE Advocacy Committee member represented DHPE as well as
DHPE staff Doreleena Posey, Policy Training Director, and Aryka Chapman, School
Health Manager. DHPE Board Member Karen D. Goldman (NY) was also in attendance
with New York public health graduate students. Lavell also serves as a member
of the Summit Planning Committee. Doreleena represented DHPE at the CNHEO
Leaders' Meeting, which focused on opportunities for third-party reimbursement
for Health Education.
Lavell and Aryka presented a break out session to over 40
attendees titled: Advocacy 201: After Your Visit, Will They Remember You?
Using school health successes for examples, the session provided an overview of
strategies to maximize the impact of advocacy efforts. HEA Summit presentations
included topics such as Incorporating Advocacy in Professional Preparation,
Effective Use of Social Media, and Challenges and Opportunities in the 112th
The Summit culminated with an estimated 110 congressional
visits with key Senate and House Committee members, state legislators, and /or
their legislative staff. The purpose of the visits was to gain support and
commitment for the following CNHEO priority 2013 appropriations and legislative
and Secondary Education Act (Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind)
Preventive and Health Services Block Grant (Maintain funding flexibility to the
Care Act-Prevention and Public Health Fund (Maintain funding for prevention and
Community Transformation Grants (Fund at recommended levels to empower
communities and reduce chronic diseases and racial/ethnic health disparities)
provides a rare opportunity for partner organizations to come together and
collectively advocate for important public health legislation and
appropriations. Policy makers heard through use of state and local economic
data and personal stories about devastating impacts of funding cuts to our
nation's health. All priority appropriation issues identified above are also
advocacy issues for DHPE as well.
The annual Summit is coordinated and hosted by the Society
for Public Health Education (SOPHE). For more information about the CNHEO Health
Education Advocate Awards, legislative fact sheets, and the Summit
proceedings/resources, go to the following websites: www.healtheducationadvocate.org