Advocating for public policies conducive to health is part of SOPHE's mission as a health education organization. SOPHE has a responsibility to educate decision-makers on national and state legislative issues related to the health of society. Each year SOPHE identifies priority issues on which they will focus their education efforts through sustained communication channels with members and chapters, and by developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with public and private national organizations. SOPHE also encourages chapters in their own implementation of national, state and local health education public policy activities.
SOPHE has an active Advocacy Committee, with chapter representation, and interested SOPHE members. Email communication facilitates rapid communication and action on national legislative issues of interest to SOPHE members. SOPHE also adopts resolutions that provide an organizational foundation for action on selected issues. Relocation of the national office to Washington, DC in January 1996 has increased SOPHE participation and visibility.
SOPHE's 2014 Advocacy Priorities:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
- Retain Prevention and Public Health
- Seek opportunities for 3rd party reimbursement for professionally trained health educators
Appropriations for CDC's School Health Branch
Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
Support Sen. Udall (D-NM) and Congresswoman Fudge (D-OH) PHYSICAL Act bills that elevate health and physical education to core subjects
Health equity policies, programs or practices that address health, social, economic, environmental and other factors that improve health across all populations
Promote the Health Education Profession as a critical component to addressing the health crisis in our society
Tobacco prevention and control
Environmental health/emergency preparedness
Student Health Advocacy Coalition (SHAC)
SOPHE is an active member of SHAC. SHAC is a coalition of national organizations dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of 90 million school-age students.
Advocacy Toolkit: SOPHE has developed an Advocacy Toolkit with useful resources as well as SOPHE's position on various issues. Click here to access the toolkit.
As a member of the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO), SOPHE has taken an active role in organizing and staffing the Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit. Participants receive either basic or advanced-level advocacy training, briefings on current legislative priorities , and conduct Congressional visits in Washington, DC.
UPDATE, September 2014: The Advocacy Summit will not be held in 2015. However, SOPHE will continue to advocate and provide training opportunities. Please visit SOPHE calendar for upcoming events.