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Community Health Centers and National Advocacy


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Presentation by Rick Shinn at the 2009 Virginia Health Equity Conference - Part of the panel discussion, "Advocacy 101: Strategies to Build Local, State and National Support for Health Equity"

Presentation by Rick Shinn at the 2009 Virginia Health Equity Conference - Part of the panel discussion, "Advocacy 101: Strategies to Build Local, State and National Support for Health Equity"

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  • 1. Community Health Centers and Advocacy – A National Approach
    • A Presentation to the Health Equity Conference
  • 2. Community Health Centers Creating access to health care across Virginia Community Health Centers 240,000+ patients 105 Health Center Sites Medical – Dental – Pharmaceutical – Behavioral Health - Prevention
  • 3. National Efforts on Advocacy
    • Led by National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
    • Using multiple tools to achieve goals
      • Email
      • Web Based Advocacy Tools
      • Phone calls
      • Field reps – work with Community Health Centers
      • Shoe Leather… lots of shoe leather
  • 4. Define the needs
    • NACHC National Legislative Committee
      • Members bring issues to attention of NACHC
      • Face to Face discussions 2x annually
      • Agendas determined, refined
      • NACHC does most of the “grunt work” on
        • refining agendas
        • defining goals
        • setting target objectives
        • developing and coordinating advocacy campaigns
  • 5. Trickle Down from NACHC
    • Overall Advocacy Agenda
    • Interactions with HHS/HRSA/BPHC
    • Interactions with Congress
    • Assist states and members with grass roots activities, updates on what’s going on in D.C., etc.
  • 6. Trickle Up to NACHC
    • States and members give NACHC feedback on issues, what’s going on in the field
    • Interactions with NACHC, HHS/HRSA/BPHC
    • Interactions with Congress
      • On local issues
      • On state issues
      • On national issues
    • Developing state wide grass roots base and campaigns to meet national and state goals/objectives
  • 7. Techniques that work
    • Identify core group of grass roots activist
    • Educate members on the need, their role
    • Keep in contact with members on issues, action items
    • Assist members in developing their grass roots
      • What works at the national level
        • works at the state level
          • works at the local level
  • 8. Techniques that work
    • Identify your champion legislators
    • Identify your champion policy makers
    • Educate on issues, needs
    • Ask
    • How can you solve this together?
    • Keep in contact with legislators
      • On issues, action items
      • Out of sight, out of mind
  • 9. Techniques that work
    • No money for PACS, campaign contributions, etc.
    • It’s all about relationships
      • Local
      • Statewide
      • National
      • Build the relationships NOW – before you need them!
  • 10. Techniques that work
    • Organize Your Grass Roots Support
      • Is an on-going process
      • Constant renewal
      • Constant education
      • Constant contact with grass roots
      • Look into using an online advocacy system
        • Keep grass roots informed
        • Issue calls to action
  • 11. Techniques that work
    • “ Boots on the ground” visits
      • Get key legislators to visit your programs
      • Educate them on what you really do
      • Make it a media event when possible and appropriate
  • 12. Techniques that work
    • When you have a key issue NOW
      • Emails
      • Phone calls
      • Visits to their offices
      • Get the people most impacted to talk with the key legislator(s)
        • Patients who depend on our services
        • COIs in the community
  • 13. Techniques that work
    • When one or two legislators are holding up your issue
      • Always talk with them first
      • Then flood them with constituents
        • Four or five calls may make the difference
        • Hundreds of calls will inundate them
  • 14. Thanks You!
    • Rick Shinn
    • Director of Public Affairs
    • Virginia Community Healthcare Association
    • (800) 966-8272 x:19
    • [email_address]