Whether it's participating in a rally, writing your legislator, signing a petition, or just educating your neighbor on an issue, advocacy plays a critical role in improving community health. Advocacy is crucial to raise awareness of community health issues and influence private and public policy choices. Recent community health issues that have been at the center of community health advocacy nationwide include access to affordable healthcare insurance, prescription drug policy, and gun violence prevention.
While these are notable issues you may have seen in national headlines, community health advocacy plays out at the local level as well. For years, activists protested the absence of hospitals on Chicago's South Side that were able to treat gunshot victims. This absence meant that gunshot victims had to be transported to hospitals in other parts of the city or the suburbs, which meant a longer wait time to reach care, and preventable deaths. Through continued advocacy from Chicago's South Side communities, the University of Chicago Medicine decided to build a new trauma center, which is scheduled to open on May 1, 2018, to meet the needs of Chicago's South Side communities. In advocacy like this communities exercise their power to improve community health.To find out more about the role of advocacy in community health join the Society for Public Health Education for a webinar on 10/18/17 from 1-2:00pm CST at https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=k5s795n4zlry&campaign=cirrxxnyk7b1