Advocating for the Public’s Health
Public health professionals have a unique understanding of the communities they serve. That’s why your voice, and your vote, are important for shaping a healthier Indiana.
Policy decisions affecting chronic disease, environmental health, emergency response, and more, are in the hands of your elected officials–but they rely on hearing from their constituents.
Learn more about how public health professionals can Speak for Health and Vote for Health:
Speak for Health
Public health is closely related to policy decisions at the local, state, or federal level. The decisions made at the Indiana statehouse affect how much funding governmental public health organizations receive, which health issues are considered priorities, how public health professionals can respond to crisis, or how social determinants of health are addressed (or not).
Public health professionals are in a unique position to shape these decisions. As constituents and as public health experts, you can connect with your legislators to voice the concerns unique to your profession and your community. Your voice can shape funding and legislative priorities when you Speak for Health.
Use the following tools and resources to learn about how you can advocate for public health. Want to learn more about public health advocacy in Indiana? Look out for more information, coming soon, about our next Policy & Advocacy Forum, happening early 2023.
- Follow along with legislative updates regarding the Governor’s Public Health Commission on the Indiana Department of Health website
- Show your support for the Governor’s Public Health Commission recommendations, Senate Bill 4, and House Bill 1001 using #INvestInHealth on social media
- Learn how you can Speak for Health with resources from APHA
- Download the Speak for Health Indiana fact sheets
- Find tips and templates from NACCHO for talking to your legislators
- Use the Advocacy Capacity Tool from Bolder Advocacy to evaluate your organization’s assets and determine what resources you need to strengthen your ability to Speak for Health.
- Consult your local Community Health Needs Assessment for information to support your advocacy
- Community health workers can adapt these conversation starters from Vot-ER about voter registration with colleagues and constituents
- Review the IPHA Advocacy Menu
- Join the IPHA Policy & Advocacy Committee
- Read the Governor’s Public Health Commission Report and look out for policies that support (or go against) the recommendations. You can also review the IDOH 2022-2026 State Health Assessment and Improvement Plans (SHA/SHIP) for more data and strategies to improve the health of Indiana.
- Learn how local health departments can voice the concerns of their communities with these trainings from NACCHO. You can also review these example candidate questions from the Iowa Public Health Association.
- Promote Health in All Policies with the exercises and strategic questions from this guide
- Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Voter Registration activities and Health Centers
Vote for Health
Vote with public health in mind: The Health & Democracy Index has found that states with more voting access and greater civic participation have better health outcomes. Exercising your right to vote, and encouraging your community members to do the same, is one way public health professionals can build our collective power and promote health in Indiana.
Learn more about how you plan ahead to Vote for Health below:
- Register to vote or update your voter information before April 3
- Research the candidates in your local election and their stance on supporting public health
- Look up public health-related legislation and the voting records of your elected officials (Check out examples of recent public health legislation)
- Find your polling place (or request an absentee ballot)
- Make a plan to vote early, if applicable
- Invite a friend, family member, or colleague to vote
- Check out 5 Ways Health Departments Can Help Ensure Health Voting from Human Impact Partners
- Tell us why you Vote for Health as a public health professional to inspire others
- Students can encourage voting on campus by using the Students Learn Student Vote startup guide