F2: Policy as Prevention: Practical Advocacy Skills for Promoting Health of Marginalized Communities

Effective advocacy campaigns are necessary for promoting policy change in order to promote health equity. Unfortunately, many public health practitioners have little experience or comfort with leading a grassroots advocacy campaign, particularly within marginalized communities. Advocating for an issue, even at a local level, requires organization and management of people, action, and skills. This presentation will cover key advocacy skills regarding building power through stakeholder analysis, effective communication techniques, and designing a sustained activism effort with equity and inclusion in mind. The presentation will put advocacy skills into context by describing a successful campaign for a Non-Discrimination ordinance (NDO) at the local level for LGBTQ+ identified people to create policy change in a seemingly “hostile” environment.

Pat Stieg, MA CHES ® (Moderator)

Health Education Specialist

Carver County Health and Human Services

Patrick Stieg is a Certified Health Education Specialist with 35 years of professional experience in public health education, health promotion, and policy development. This includes 17 years at state and county public health departments, 12 years at a voluntary health organization at both the national and state levels, and 6 years at a health plan. Education includes a BS degree from Moorhead State University and a MA degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Extensive experience at the local, state and national levels in public and professional education, as well as public policy advocacy around the primary prevention of chronic diseases. This includes population-level health expertise in physical activity, nutrition and tobacco issues, as well as the underlying social determinants of health and well being. Volunteers on several statewide health related boards and commissions, as well as government parks, trails and recreation commissions at the municipal, county and state levels. Greatly values the opportunity to make connections between public health and public land use, for the menatal and physical health benefits of all people.

Megan Smith, PhD

Associate Professor

Boise State University

Dr. Megan L. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health & Population Science at Boise State University. Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from West Virginia University in 2015. She has a teaching degree from California State University Chico (2008) and a BA in Psychology (with an emphasis on diverse populations and education) from University of California, Santa Cruz (2006). Dr. Smith’s work builds on education, human development, and public health science to study the contextual factors that promote or thwart health outcomes (particularly substance abuse, mental health, and sexual risk behavior) for young people. Previously a K-12 teacher, she often focuses on the school environment. While working for the WVU School of Public Health, she served as Director of Child & Adolescent Health initiatives for the Prevention Research Center. She is proud to be a member of the international Planet Youth team to promote the notion that true prevention is possible if you start at the community level and change the culture of health. She is committed to public health advocacy and deeply believes it is the mission of public health professionals to continue to advocate for and champion equity and health for all.


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10 Questions
0.75 Entry CECH/CPH CE Credit credits  |  No certificate available
0.75 Entry CECH/CPH CE Credit credits  |  No certificate available