152051 Community Action to Fight Asthma: A successful model of policy advocacy

Monday, November 5, 2007: 11:30 AM

Joel Ervice , Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) Initiative, Oakland, CA
Anne Kelsey Lamb, MPH , Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) Initiative, Oakland, CA
Community Action to Fight Asthma (CAFA) is a network of asthma coalitions across California working to shape local, regional and state policies to reduce environmental triggers among school-aged children where they live, learn, and play. CAFA is comprised of local asthma coalitions that bring together diverse constituents to address the problem of asthma in their communities. The Network also includes technical assistance providers that support coalitions with coalition development, strategic planning, program implementation, evaluation, media advocacy, and policy advocacy. This structure builds the capacity of local coalitions, creates opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, and unites coalitions around common causes, ultimately leading to effective state-level policy efforts. To complement this structure, the coordinators of the CAFA Network have utilized a bottom-to-top democratic process to generate effective policy outcomes. Now in its fifth year of existence, CAFA deliberately evolved to build upon local successes and experience in order to create a statewide policy agenda. This year, the CAFA coalitions undertook a process of identifying state level policy needs, based on their local work, and collectively formed a statewide policy agenda. While this process was driven by the asthma coalitions, it involved key allies in the fields of public health, environmental health, and environmental justice, strengthening partnerships that will be essential in achieving policy successes. The presenter will describe the unique structure of CAFA, the process for involving community-based coalitions in state-level policy work, policy successes and challenges thus far, and how CAFA can serve as a replicable model for influencing public health policy.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a successful Network-based model for influencing policy, regulations and legislation 2. Understand key process and structure elements for involving community-based coalitions in state-level policy work 3. Articulate the benefits and challenges to Network-based policy advocacy

Keywords: Advocacy, Asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.