APHA is the primary voice for public health advocacy, leading the way to protect all Americans, their families and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and striving to assure that community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. Advocacy is a valued principle and critical part of APHA’s mission.
Due to the many interests and broad agenda that fall under public health, it is important for APHA to maximize its effectiveness and make the most of existing resources to be successful in improving public health policy. APHA’s advocacy positions and actions are based on an extensive repository of science-based policy adopted by the association. APHA has two full-time government relations staff dedicated to advocacy.
Advocacy activities do not begin or end with APHA’s staff in Washington. APHA can and does request action in support of advocacy priorities from its members and Affiliates. At the same time, APHA members and Affiliates can and do request support for their priority issues at the federal, state and local level. APHA’s advocacy efforts will be most effective if they are coordinated to maximize their impact.
The membership and Affiliates of APHA, through their representation on the Governing Council, determine the association’s overarching policy priorities. Specific advocacy efforts to address the policy priorities are then determined by staff and the Executive Board of APHA. Each year, several legislative priorities are established for primary focus. In addition, APHA also acts on many other critical public health advocacy issues including some raised by its membership, Affiliates, and partner organizations.