Online Program

Policy Advocacy Actions at the Organization, State and National Levels: Using Service Learning to Inform Policy at the State Level

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Connor Norwood, MHA, Department of Health Policy & Management, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianapolis, IN
Cody Mullen, PhD(c), Richard M. Faribanks School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, West Lafayette, IN
Rizwana Biviji-Sharma, MS, Department of Health Policy, Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN
Abby Church, MPH, Fairbanks School of Public Health-Indiana University-Indianpolis, Indianpolis, IN
Macey Henderson, JD, PhD(c), Department of Health Policy and Management, Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indianpolis, IN
Cynthia Stone, DrPH, MSN, BSN, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
The public approval rating of the U.S. Congress has seen all-time lows as political discourse in the U.S. has been described as hostile. Similar trends are prevalent at the state level.  Individuals interested in advocating for a change to existing or the adoption of new policy must be actively involved and refrain from withdrawing from the policy process.  Four strategies for advocacy in the state policy process include: 1) becoming familiar with the legislative process 2) supporting and building relationships with candidates that support your issues 3) researching the issues important to you and providing information to policymakers 4) working closely with the legislators sponsoring the proposed bill and providing support throughout the process.

Two examples of policy advocacy will be discussed as part of a PhD program in Health Policy and Management. Indiana residents have been significantly impacted by the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the U.S.  In 2015, PhD students advocated for a policy that would increase access to a rescue drug in hopes of reducing drug overdose fatalities. These students followed the four strategies identified, which resulted in the bill receiving overwhelming support and passing 11-0 in its first Senate Committee hearing. In 2014, PhD students analyzed proposed legislation and provided policy briefs informed by original and existing research in order to influence existing and future legislation relating to public transit in order to improve safety and public health.

An example of how PhD students were able to inform state policies through service learning projects.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify four common strategies to getting involved in the state policy process. Provide examples of how PhD students were able to get involved in the state policy process through service learning activities.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have taught a graduate course titled "Health Policy and U.S. Healthcare Systems". This course focuses on the various aspects of policy including policy and advocacy at the state level. I have also been an active member of local and state advocacy groups and have been actively involved in the policy process at the state level in Indiana. Lastly, I am a PhD student in Health Policy & Management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.