SOPHE's 2015 Advocacy Priorities:

  • 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
  • Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
    • Support passage of the Every Child Achieves Act that includes health education as a core subject
  • 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

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 adopts resolutions that provide an organizational foundation for action on selected issues. SOPHE encourages chapters in their own implementation of national, state and local health education public policy activities as well.

Health Education in Schools

SOPHE is leading the charge in supporting “Health” to be designated as a “core” subject in legislation to reauthorize or restructure the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Today, more than ever, youth need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to live healthy lifestyles. Join us for a day of advocacy and speak out. Youth are one-fourth of our population, but all of our future!

SOPHE's letter to Congress on this issue >

Health Education in School's Virtual Advocacy Day Resources (May 14, 2015):

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Implementation

As the United States moves forward with health care reform, it is 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 United States has signaled a shift toward improving health outcomes and become more “health” rather than “sick” focused. To accomplish that shift, the ACA has called for focus on 1) the challenges and needs of both the public health and clinical workforces in order to improve quality of care and patient safety and 2) expanding community-based programming to support prevention and health promotion.

As the health care landscape in the United States moves rapidly toward reform and new prevention and health promotion funding opportunities present themselves, it is paramount for health education specialists to be an integral part of the health care and public health systems to assure optimal health outcomes for all.

Click here to view SOPHE's ACA Issue Brief > 

Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) programs are three-year initiatives that provide funding for local governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations to implement evidence- and practice-based strategies that address chronic disease risk factors related to tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and a lack of access to health care. Awardees create multi-sectoral community coalitions that include local businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and others to promote healthy living in large cities and urban counties, small cities and counties, or within tribal groups and organizations.

Both the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bills eliminated funding for the Partnership to Improve Community Health (PICH) program in its critical third year. Budget negotiations are happening quickly and we must let the appropriators know the value of the PICH program. Today, more than ever, community-based health interventions need to be used to prevent chronic disease.

Cutting or eliminating PICH would have far-ranging and long-term negative health consequences. Nearly 500 public health jobs would be eliminated immediately in 39 different rural, tribal, and urban communities. All of these grantees would lose critical opportunities to address health disparities, and improve the health of the populations they serve. Eliminating this program in the third year of funding would effectively eliminate communities’ ability to achieve results for this investment and CDC’s ability to evaluate outcomes.

Click here to view the Partnership to Improve Community Health Toolkit >