Advocacy in Action Course

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    • Non-member - $135
    • Member - $95
    • Student Member - $55
    • Student Non-Member - $80

Over the course of the past 20 years, the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has trained more than 2,000 advocates at an annual Advocacy Summit.  Using this expertise, SOPHE has developed an online advocacy course that covers advocacy skills and other topic areas such as policy and systems change and working with partnerships and coalitions that are critical to public health advocacy. 

SOPHE is excited to introduce the Advocacy in Action online course. The course consists of four modules:

• Introduction to Health Policy and Advocacy

• Setting an Advocacy Agenda for Policymakers

• Introduction to Coalition Building 

• Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State and Local Level

This course will develop your advocacy skills by teaching you how to build broad support for your advocacy campaigns among community stakeholders and policymakers. Key topic areas and skills are covered in the four modules; they are approximately 30-60 minutes each using a combination of presentations, examples, videos, and self-examinations.

This course is available for 7.5 CHES.


Module 1: Introduction to Advocacy

This module should differentiate the terms policy, advocacy, and lobbying and show how they are inextricably linked. From there we should discuss why they are an important competency for HES (Area 7 of NCHEC). Case studies can be utilized to illustrate how policy is made. A case study where policy emanates from science; a case study where policy emanates from advocacy/community action can illustrate the linkages. And a final policy where compromise entered into play should be highlighted.

Upon the completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between policy, advocacy, and lobbying
  • Define some of the more common terms used in advocacy
  • Identify the functions of governmental branches
  • Explore the legislative process and diverse methods of influencing the legislative process
  • Apply the role of advocacy in public health
  • Explore the linkages between public health policy and other areas of public health (epidemiology, research, etc.)

Module 2: Setting an Advocacy Agenda for Policy Makers

Developing an agenda should be discussing prioritization of issues and reliance on mission statements, resolutions, policy databases, etc. Are we just covering messaging/communication with elected officials? Should we cover the health communication theory at all? Obviously, the standard items we have taught about putting a face to an ask, adding emotion, concise and focused ask – but in terms of social media perhaps some of the more modern campaigns that have been successful and have failed could be used as case studies. Examples include San Francisco’s messaging around HPC funding for API community “Which One Should Die” (successful) and NYC failed “Getting Old with HIV is Ugly”. These campaigns had a great impact on elected leaders but fell outside of traditional elected leader communication. 

Upon the completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain the policy agenda and agenda-setting process
  • Identify how to prioritize potential advocacy issues (internal and external)
  • Explore how communication/messaging can determine success or failure in agenda-setting
  • Apply health communication theory to health policy agenda-setting
  • Identify appropriate communication channels for the policy message
  • Articulate successful communications strategies in meetings with policymakers

Module 3: Introduction to Coalition Building

This module provides an overview of the six major steps in building and sustaining a coalition and, in particular, its role in changing policy: 1. Assess the need for a coalition.; 2. Clarify vision and mission.; 3. Organize the partnership.; 4. Involve stakeholders in creating an action plan for the coalition.; 5. Build the coalition and train its members.; 6. Implement and evaluate the action plan.; 7. Sustain and improve the coalition.

A strong base of support is the active ingredient that can move an issue from the backburner to the front of a community, eventually leading to policy change.

Upon the completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the role of coalitions in grassroots advocacy strategies
  • Identify five characteristics of effective coalitions
  • Explore the potential benefits and challenges of working in coalitions
  • Identify action steps from coalition-building through coalition actionable activities

Module 4: Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State/Local Level

My suggestion is to take this right out of the playbook of AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and/or HIV Prevention Justice Alliance. They have “mastered” the techniques and essentially we can boil it down to a recipe. In a previous year, SOPHE's advocacy day was borrowed from AFC with modification.

Upon the completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate local targets for advocacy
  • Identify appropriate messaging techniques for advocacy
  • Articulate advocacy asks in the appropriate messaging format

Cicily Hampton, PhD, MPA

Former Chief of Health Science & Policy

Society for Public Health Education

Dr. Cicily Hampton was the former Chief of Health Science & Policy at the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) where she led SOPHE’s government strategy, engagement and policy development activities. Her MPA from American University is focused on Lobbying, Campaign Management, and Applied Politics; and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina Charlotte is in Public Policy with a concentration in Health Policy.

Amy Thompson, PhD, CHES®

Vice Provost

University of Toledo

Dr. Amy Thompson is a Professor & Co-Director at the Center for Health & Successful Living for the University of Toledo. Her research areas are on advocacy, gun violence prevention, breast cancer prevention, and nutritional issues. She has also served as the Trustee for Advocacy & Resolutions for SOPHE from 2015-2017; 2017-2019.

Frances Dunn Butterfoss, PhD, BSN

Founding President

Coalitions Work

Dr. Frances Dunn Butterfoss brings 25 years of experience supporting partnerships, coalitions, and collaborations and is the founding president of Coalitions Work. Dr. Butterfoss is a Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and founding director of two coalitions: Consortium for Infant & Child Health (CINCH) and Project Immunize Virginia (PIV). Fran formerly directed the national Immunization Coalition Training Institute (1995-1998) and has significant experience in consulting and training worldwide on developing, sustaining and evaluating coalitions for health promotion and disease prevention.

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Module 1: Introduction to Advocacy
Video: Introduction To Advocacy (16:27)
Recorded 09/30/2018
Recorded 09/30/2018 In this first video, you will be introduced to Dr. Cicily Hampton, former Chief of Health Science & Policy at the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) where she led SOPHE’s government strategy, engagement, and policy development activities. Her MPA from American University is focused on Lobbying, Campaign Management, and Applied Politics; and her PhD from the University of North Carolina Charlotte is in Public Policy with a concentration in Health Policy.
Introduction to Advocacy Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Quiz: Introduction to Advocacy
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass In this module, we should differentiate the terms policy, advocacy, and lobbying and shows how they are inextricably linked. From there we should discuss why they are an important competency for Health Education Specialist (Area 5 of NCHEC Competencies). Case studies can be utilized to illustrate how policy is made. A case study where policy emanates from science; a case study where policy emanates from advocacy/community action can illustrate the linkages and a final policy where compromise entered into play should be highlighted. In order for you to earn CE, you must complete the following quiz.
Module 2: Setting an Advocacy Agenda for Policy Makers
Video: Setting an Agenda for Policy Makers (59:16)
Recorded 09/30/2018
Recorded 09/30/2018 In this next video, you will hear from Dr. Amy Thompson who is a Professor & Co-Director at the Center for Health & Successful Living for the University of Toledo. Her research areas are advocacy, gun violence prevention, breast cancer prevention, and nutritional issues. She has also served as the Trustee for Advocacy & Resolutions for SOPHE from 2015-2017; 2017-2019.
Setting an Advocacy Agenda for Policy Makers Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Quiz 2: Setting an Advocacy Agenda for Policy Makers
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/12 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/12 points to pass
Module 3: Introduction to Coalition Building
Video: Introduction to Coalition Building (55:20)
Recorded 09/30/2018
Recorded 09/30/2018 In this next video, you will hear from Dr. Frances Dunn Butterfoss who brings 25 years of experience supporting partnerships, coalitions, and collaborations and is the founding president of Coalitions Work. Dr. Butterfoss is a Professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and founding director of two coalitions: Consortium for Infant & Child Health (CINCH) and Project Immunize Virginia (PIV). Fran formerly directed the national Immunization Coalition Training Institute (1995-1998) and has significant experience in consulting and training worldwide on developing, sustaining, and evaluating coalitions for health promotion and disease prevention.
Introduction to Coalition Building Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Quiz 3: Introduction to Coalition Building
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
Module 4: Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State/Local Level
Video: Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State/Local Level (27:19)
Recorded 09/30/2018
Recorded 09/30/2018 My suggestion is to take this right out of the playbook of AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and/or HIV Prevention Justice Alliance. They have “mastered” the techniques and essentially we can boil it down to a recipe. In a previous year, SOPHE's advocacy day was borrowed from AFC with modification. Upon the completion of this module, you will be able to: 1) Identify appropriate local targets for advocacy. 2) Identify appropriate messaging techniques for advocacy. 3) Articulate advocacy asks in the appropriate messaging format.
Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State/Local Level Slides
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Quiz 4: Developing & Implementing an Advocacy Day at the State/Local Level
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  8/10 points to pass
Overall Course Evaluation Survey
2 Questions
2 Questions Thank you for completing the Advocacy in Action course. These four modules should collectively help you design a strong prospective approach to advocacy, activism, and action. Please take a moment and complete the following CE Evaluation Survey and we will reward you with 7.5 CECH and a certificate of your completion of the Advocacy in Action course. Thank you for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback.