SOPHE's Advocacy

Advocating for public health policies 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 a healthy society.


Participate in SOPHE’s legislative action alerts and urge policymakers to vote for and act on behalf of public health programs and services.

Every year, SOPHE identifies priority issues to focus their education efforts through sustained communication activities with members and chapters.

SOPHE’s advocacy work includes:

  • Developing and maintaining collaborative partnerships with public and private national organizations
  • Adopting resolutions for action on selected issues.
  • Encouraging chapters to take action on national, state and local health education public policy activities.

SOPHE priorities for 2016:

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Retain Prevention and Public Health Provisions
  • Seek opportunities for 3rd party reimbursement for professionally trained health educators
  • Appropriations for CDC's School Health Branch
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Implementation
  • Disseminate information on the value of health education as a well-rounded education subject to schools, school districts, and other education stakeholders.
  • 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
  • Health literacy
  • Tobacco prevention and control
  • Support additional regulation of e-cigarettes
  • Support local and national legislation to raise the tobacco purchase age to at least 21
  • Environmental health/emergency preparedness

Health Education in Schools

Today, youth need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to live healthy lifestyles. Youth are one-fourth of our population, but all of our future!

SOPHE proudly led efforts for “Health” to be designated as a “well-rounded education” subject in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

SOPHE's letter to Congress on this issue >

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation

As the U.S. moves forward with health care reform, it’s important to understand the role that health education specialists can and should play in both primary prevention and chronic disease management.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. has signaled a shift toward improving health outcomes and becoming more “health” rather than “sick” focused.

To accomplish that shift, the ACA has called for focus on:

  • Challenges and needs of both the public health and clinical workforces in order to improve quality of care and patient safety
  • Expanding community-based programming to support prevention and health promotion. It is important for health education specialists to be an integral part of the health care and public health systems to assure optimal health outcomes for all.

View SOPHE's ACA Issue Brief