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"

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Community Health Centers and National Advocacy

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