Public Health Advocacy

What is Public Health Advocacy

Public health advocacy involves educating policy makers and the public on public health topics and issues. Advocacy differs from lobbying in that it is not concerned with persuading policy makers to vote a certain way on any one piece of legislation, it is more general. Advocacy is also non-partisan. Decision makers and individuals from all political affiliations need to better understand the role public health plays in keeping communities safe and healthy.

As the voice of public health in Iowa, Iowa Public Health Association facilitates members’ public health advocacy around a range of topics at the local, state, and national levels. IPHA keeps members in-the-know with state-level legislative updates, provides standalone and collaborative position statements, and provides members with a forum for policy and advocacy work through the IPHA Advocacy Committee. The IPHA Advocacy Committee creates an annual legislative agenda, and plans a number of advocacy events each year including our popular Legislative Forum, Day on the Hill, and others.

Members of the IPHA Advocacy Committee have created a training to help Iowa’s public health practitioners better understand the legislative process:


An Overview of Iowa's Legislative Process

Public Health Podcast

The Midwest Public Health Training Center’s Share Public Health Podcast also created a four-episode mini-series on public health advocacy which can help public health stakeholders better understand the importance of advocacy. The mini-series features several IPHA members and allies.

Episode 1

Overcoming Public Health’s Humility

Listen | Transcript


Episode 2

Celebrate Every Win

Listen | Transcript

Episode 3

We Have to Ask for What We Need

Listen | Transcript

Episode 4

Change Comes Through Relationships

Listen | Transcript

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