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Speak for Health Advocacy Bootcamp

Workshop // Washington


Jul 15 2019 - Jul 16 2019


smiling woman in front of U.S. Capitol, group of students with legislator, students taking notes in classroom

APHA is calling on all public health students and early-career professionals who want to take action, change the direction of our country and build a better public health system through advocacy.

APHA's Speak for Health initiative in Washington, D.C., is a two-day bootcamp training tailored to public health students and early-career professionals on how to be an effective public health advocate. We'll cover the basics of how to advocate for evidence-based public health policies, including how to navigate Capitol Hill, how to amplify your advocacy with communications strategy and how to message your issue. This year’s bootcamp theme is Climate Changes Health. Attendees will use climate change and health as a case study to practice public health advocacy skills. On day two, you'll take your message to Capitol Hill to hear from members of congress and meet with your Senators and Congressional representatives.  

MEMBER PERKBootcamp attendees will:

  • Learn how to have an effective meeting with their elected officials in Washington, D.C.  
  • Hear from experts in communications, social media and lobbying
  • Learn how to apply their status as public health professionals to an advocacy platform
  • Transfer skills learned by advocating for climate and health to other public health priorities


Monday, July 15

Build your advocacy skills with workshops covering advocacy basics, communications strategy, and an issue briefing on climate change and public health. Hear from exciting speakers about how you can effect change. All sessions will take place at the National Press Club. The tentative schedule below is subject to change. Registration is now closed.

8:00 a.m. — Breakfast

9:15 a.m. — Keynote address

Jenn Gustetic, Program Executive for Small Business Innovation Research at NASA

10:15 a.m. — Advocacy 101

Gaby Witte, Senior Manger, Government Relations, APHA 

10:45 a.m. — Fireside chat: Climate change as an urgent health issue

Emily Holden, Climate Reporter, The Guardian

Rachel McMonagle, Program Manager, APHA Center for Climate, Health and Equity

11:45 a.m. — Lunch

1 p.m. — Breakout Sessions (Note: attendees will attend both sessions)

Breakout 1: Issue snapshot of climate change and public health

Kim Knowlton, Senior Scientist and Deputy Director, Science Center, Natural Resources Defense Council

Surili Patel, Deputy Director, Center for Public Health Policy, APHA

Breakout 2: Media and social media advocacy

Paige Knappenberger, Climate Voices Program Manager, Climate Nexus

Megan Lowry, Communications Specialist, APHA

3:40 p.m.Workshop: Hill meetings and climate change talking points 

Don Hoppert, Director of Government Relations, APHA

4:00 p.m. — Hill meeting practice

5 p.m. — Closing comments

Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, U.S. Climate Action Network

5:30 p.m. — Networking and mentorship reception with APHA leaders

Tuesday, July 16

Attend a breakfast session with opening remarks from a member of Congress. Then, head to in-person meetings with your Senators and Congressional representatives and other public health young professionals from your state, where you’ll have the chance to advocate and educate lawmakers and staff about climate change and public health. All sessions will take place on Capitol Hill.

9:30 a.m. — Breakfast and networking

10 a.m. — Keynote with member of Congress

10:45 a.m. — Closing comments and meeting preparation

11 a.m. — Meetings with Senators and Congressional representatives and staff continue throughout afternoon. Attendees will have their meetings scheduled for them by APHA. Your final Capitol Hill meeting schedule will be available on July 15.


The deadline to receive a refund for this event has passed. Attendees are responsible for cancelling their own travel and hotel reservations.


Q: How can my organization, school or company get involved?

A: Consider sponsoring this event as a partner. Contact Angelica Walker for more information.

Q: I'm not attending the Advocacy Bootcamp, but I still want to advocate for public health. How can I get involved with Speak for Health?

A: Visit our Speak for Health page for more information on how you can advocate for public health.

More questions? Contact Megan Lowry.