18th annual Advocacy Summit

clapping-loIn October, more than 120 health professionals from 26 states and American Samoa gathered for the 18th annual Advocacy Summit. Representing a delegation of more than 35,000 health education professionals, attendees spent an interactive and engaging 1.5 days in skill-building workshops designed to develop and hone participant advocacy skills.

Sessions provided updates on priority areas from a diverse group of public health, education, and health equity experts.

4 Priority Areas

  • Supporting the Reducing Disparities Using Care Models and Education Act of 2015
  • Legislation authorizing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test a payment and service delivery model including health education
  • $50 million in funding in FY 2017 to strengthen and expand the CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program
  • $23 million in funding in FY 2017 for the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s School Health Branch to expand health education in schools

“With the support of the conference, my summit attendees, and my advisor, I could go through my senator meetings with confidence in the knowledge and skills I had recently acquired. I am ecstatic to motivate others to attend a future Advocacy Summit to better themselves as future health educators.”

Christian, Missouri

Capitol Hill Visits

cap-hill-1Following the skill-building workshops, participants gathered on Capitol Hill for insight and inspiration from Alyssa Penna, legislative director for Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). The group held 100 meetings with members of Congress or their staff. Participants particularly loved the opportunity to “walk the talk” during the full day of House and Senate meetings.


David Birch, PhD, MCHES, University of Alabama
Amy Thompson, PhD, MCHES, University of Toledo
Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, CDC Office of Minority Health
Cicily Hampton, PhD, MPA, SOPHE
Brigitte W. Johnson, APR, SOPHE
Steven Grant, APR, National Education Association
Jeanine Robitaille, MPH, CHES, SOPHE
Keely Rees, PhD, MCHES, University of Wisconsin La Crosse
Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES, SOPHE
Cherylee Sherry, MPH, MCHES, Minnesota Department of Health
Daniel Duquette, EdD, University of WI La Crosse
Jerrica Mathis, M.Ed, Drinker, Biddle & Reath
Stephanie Maddin Smith, JD, American College Health Association
Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, American Public Health Association
Anders Cedergren, PhD, University of WI La Crosse
Alyssa Penna, Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)