Welcome to the exciting world of advocacy!
The Action Committee promotes public health advocacy by keeping APHA-SA members informed about major public health policy issues as they arise and facilitating transmission of APHA-SA opinions to appropriate decision-makers/legislators. Our primary role is to provide both advocacy training and advocacy opportunities for students involved in APHA-SA.
Advocacy Reports for Students in Public Health
Not sure what advocacy is? Public versus institutional policies? Need a refresher course in some high school civics? Take a look at the PowerPoint Presentation given by APHA-SA's ACTION committee during APHA's 2002 annual meeting. You'll learn more about political advocacy, public and private policies, and specific methods you can use as an advocate.
Download Take Action Now! Public Health Advocacy Strategies (11/13/02)
Current Opportunities for ACTION
This year, the national observance for National Public Health Week (NPHW) was April 4-10, 2005. This year's theme was "Empowering Americans to Live Stronger, Longer." During National Public Health Week (NPHW), communities, universities, health agencies and other organizations across the country joined together to promote and commit to the public's health. APHA-SA created a student guidebook to provide students with examples of what other students and student groups have done for NPHW in the past and tips on how to organize these types of events.
Letter to the Editor
Always wanted to write a letter to the editor of your local community, school or regional newspaper? Click on the link below and read an article published in News and Views, APHA-SA's quarterly newsletter with few quick tips to get you started.
Stay tuned for more advocacy training opportunities and related links!
We're currently focusing on training and empowering APHA-SA members to be effective advocates and providing students with opportunities to participate in advocacy. APHA-SA strives to determine the needs, readiness and interests of its membership prior to taking action. For this reason, APHA-SA conducted an advocacy survey of the membership in 2001. As a result of the survey findings, APHA-SA has begun developing programs and initiatives that will focus on the training and education needs identified by the survey. We will soon provide students and new professionals with ways to become more involved in advocacy. Click here to view the results of the 2001-02-membership survey about the top issues facing public health.
In addition to advocacy training, we will provide students and new professionals with a chance to be advocates. These opportunities will be offered for a variety of issues and a variety of levels of government (local, state and national). Outreach will consist first of issue selection--we will build a set of issues and use this to guide outreach opportunities. Individuals who participate will have a chance to select an issue of interest and to investigate their options for advocacy, which will be facilitated by the Action Committee website. As issues arise, we will provide a description via the APHA-SA listserv and website. We will also let members know how they can respond---calling tree connections, postcard prompts, e-mail action alerts, and capital hill/state legislature days, just to name a few. So look for more information and contact soon!
Serve on the ACTION Committee
Want to become part of the ACTION Committee and help APHA-SA train its membership and other students to be better advocates, communicate about advocacy, and advocating on important public health and student issues. The Action Co-chairs for more detailed information about how to get involved.
Preserving student member access to the American Journal of Public Health
In the fall of 2001, APHA's Executive Board voted to deny student members (and other subsidized members) print journal subscriptions to the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) due to financial reasons. As the student entity within APHA, we were concerned about the impact this policy change would have on APHA-SA's membership and on the student membership of APHA in general. When we notified our members of this decision the response was unprecedented and APHA-SA was determined to take ACTION. In response, the leadership of APHA-SA wrote a letter to Dr. Mohammad Akhter, APHA's Executive Director during the time this new policy was implemented, requesting that APHA: 1) reinstate print subscriptions for all students; or 2) make a print AJPH subscription available to students for a nominal cost. Resa M. Jones, APHA-SA's first Chair to serve on APHA's Executive Board then made a motion, which passed, and provides all APHA student members with the option of receiving a print copy AJPH subscription for an additional $30 per year. The cost of printing the journal was $27 and therefore Ms. Jones and APHA-SA's leadership believed this was a satisfactory compromise. For more information about purchasing a print copy subscription to AJPH for $30, please contact AJPH's subscription services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202)777-2742. Read more about this decision in the September 2002 issue of The Nation's Health.
Taking ACTION on School of Public Health Accreditation
The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)* periodically revises the criteria by which it evaluates Schools of Public Health and Graduate Public Health Programs. In 2002, CEPH requested comments about its accreditation criteria. In response, APHA-SA submitted a letter with a number of recommendations for and comments about CEPH's revised accreditation criteria. As a student-led organization, APHA-SA is committed to actively influencing our public health educational opportunities and programs and saw this as a great opportunity to ensure CEPH considered the opinions of students throughout the process. CEPH is currently reviewing the comments that were submitted by individuals and organizations who participated in this process. Please take a moment to read what we believe are some excellent suggestions for accreditation guidelines.
*The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is an independent agency recognized by the US Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and certain public health programs offered in settings other than schools of public health. These schools and programs prepare students for entry into careers in public health. To learn more about CEPH visit them on the web at http://www.ceph.org.