3095.1 Empowering advocates: Addressing disparities through policy change

Monday, October 27, 2008: 10:30 AM
This presentation examines the importance of broadening and diversifying the power base for policy advocacy and the lessons in applying policy advocacy experiences from tobacco control to the broad range of public health issues. Launched in 2004, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Tobacco Policy Change: A Collaborative for Healthier Communities and States expands the power base for tobacco policy advocacy, focusing on engaging new advocates whose constituencies are disproportionately impacted by tobacco use. Tobacco Policy Change emerged from the lessons of RWJF's decade-long national tobacco control initiative, SmokeLess States. SmokeLess States coalitions were instrumental in building the infrastructure for policy advocacy across the nation and achieved significant policy gains. The coalitions, led primarily by leading national health organizations, won impressive victories in tobacco taxes, clean indoor air, and funding for prevention programs, however, there were far fewer victories in communities of color, blue collar and rural regions of the South, Midwest, and in Indian Country. Tobacco Policy Change attracts organizations not previously engaged in tobacco policy advocacy, whether due to other community priorities such as education, housing, and joblessness or a failure of outreach by tobacco control advocates. Three rounds of funding under Tobacco Policy Change have produced an ever-evolving pool of diverse advocates working in highly impacted communities. The program was changed in the fourth round to demonstrate how the rich experiences and history of tobacco control policy advocacy can be applied to other public health issues that are affecting communities. The lessons, still in progress, are presented here.
Session Objectives: Learning Objectives: 1. Recognize the value of policy advocacy campaigns designed by the community most affected by the health disparity. 2. Describe outreach and planning techniques to effectively reach and engage diverse communities in policy advocacy. 3. Discuss the transferability of outreach and advocacy strategies from a tobacco policy campaign in most affected communities to other public health issues to reduce health disparities.

11:15 AM
Empowering advocates: Public health advocacy from the lens of tobacco advocacy
Kitty Jerome, MA, Marjorie Paloma, MPH, Jerry Spegman, JD and Carla Freeman, MA

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Endorsed by: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Socialist Caucus

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing