Online Program

Local action, national impact: Local boards of health as advocates for comprehensive reproductive health coverage

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Jenny Dodson, MPH, National Institute for Reproductive Health, New York, NY
Susan Schewel, MSN, PhD, Board of Health, Philadelphia Dept. of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
In 2012, the National Institute for Reproductive Health, the Philadelphia Board of Health and Women's Medical Fund partnered to advocate for comprehensive insurance coverage of abortion. The Philadelphia Board of Health passed a resolution in February 2013 in support of insurance coverage of abortion and access to reproductive health care and calling on President Obama, the US Congress, and Pennsylvania legislators to take action to reinstate federal coverage without restrictions. The passage of this resolution takes place in coordination with work by other local policymakers and advocates countrywide who are voicing their support on this issue in similar ways. This partnership and advocacy represents an exciting avenue for local health administrators to make a statement on national and state policy issues relevant to public health while also underscoring the local impact of these decisions. As widely-respected local leaders, publish health officials can use their positions to bolster work by advocates across the country on many public health issues and can bring a sense of bipartisanship and seriousness to issues that advocates and legislators sometimes cannot. This advocacy is particularly valuable on reproductive health issues due to widespread misinformation on essential services such as comprehensive sex education and emergency contraception. This session will use this action as a case study and will discuss the crafting and passage of the resolution and the impact and response to passage. We will then discuss ways that other health administrators can replicate this work in their own communities on various public health issues.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the devastating impact of the Hyde Amendment on lower-income women Articulate the importance of local public health administrators and agencies as advocates for reproductive health Identify strategies to engage local health administrators and agencies on important national or state public health issues, particularly reproductive health

Keyword(s): Public Health Advocacy, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: At the National Institute for Reproductive Health, I am responsible for our Urban Initiative for Reproductive Health program, wherein we support local proactive action in support of reproductive rights. I have been working closely with the Philadelphia Board of Health and Women's Medical Fund to draft and pass the resolution to be discussed in our presentation and to develop a press plan and narrative to strengthen the impact of the work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.