2016 MPHA Public Health Action (PHACT) Campaign Mobilizes Members to Advocate for Public Health Funding
by Emily Coyle
MPHA members participated in a series of meetings with Montana’s Congressional delegation across the state this fall, taking the opportunity to educate Congressional staff on the role of public health and the importance of ensuring adequate funding of local health departments as well as the Public Health Prevention Fund. The following members took action to speak out for public health funding in Montana:
Tanya Houston of the Cascade City-County Health Department and Lora Wier, executive director of MPHA, visited both Senator Daines’ and Representative Zinke’s offices in Great Falls.
Gayle Shirley and Melanie Reynolds of Lewis and Clark County Health Department met with Senator Daines’ office in Helena.
Timber Dempewolf of Dawson County Health Department visited Senator Tester’s office in Glendive.
Judy LaPan of Richland County Health Department met with Senator Daines’ office in Sidney.
In addition, RiverStone Health invited legislative aides from all three of Montana’s congressional members to their facility in Billings, providing a firsthand look at public health in action.
Feedback from MPHA members who conducted the district visits was positive and reinforced the importance of having educational materials and handouts on public health funding. For example, on member brought a copy of the local Community Health Assessment, which allowed her to educate staff on community-specific public health issues. Other members reported the meetings provided an opportunity to invite staff to visit their local health departments.
For more information on the PHACT campaign, visit www.apha.org.