I4: Incorporating Advocacy in Health Education
This session will explore a range of approaches illuminating the CHES® area of responsibility: Communicate, Promote and Advocate for Health and the Profession of Health Education/Promotion.
•Identify at least three reasons every health education professional should engage in advocacy.
•Describe three ways health education specialists changed their advocacy strategies to meet the demands imposed by a global pandemic.
•Describe at least three challenges faced by healthcare professionals engaging in COVID-19 era communication advocacy for behavioral, procedural and systems changes.
•Describe three considerations in developing advocacy curricula in undergraduate medical education.
Moderator: Rhonda Rahn
•Advocacy 101: Finding Your Voice and Role in Advocacy - Alexis (Lexi) A. Blavos, PhD, MCHES® and Jodi Brookins-Fisher, PhD, MCHES®
•Changing Advocacy Strategies with the ARCH of the Era - Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES® and Samantha Elly Mundt
•Healthcare Professionals’ Advocacy for Protections During COVID-19 - Valerie Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES®
•Developing Physician Advocates through a Pathways Approach - Vanessa Maier, MD, MPH, Christina Wang, and Kristie Sun, MD
Dr. Rhonda Rahn, PhD, MS, CHES® (Moderator)
Texas A&M University
Dr. Rhonda Rahn is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. She earned her PhD in Health Education, M.S. in Health Education, and a B.S. in Health from Texas A&M University. She currently teaches allied and community health students in the Division of Health Education. Prior to teaching, Dr. Rahn spent 10 years as the Health Education Coordinator and 3 years as a Health Educator in the Department of Student Health Services at Texas A&M University. Her research interests investigate college students' health behaviors including sexuality and peer health education. She has publications in peer-reviewed journals and have presented at national and state conferences. She is a professional member of SOPHE, ACHA, and TAHPERD and a Certified Health Education Specialist. Dr. Rahn has mentored undergraduate students and new professionals in a variety of different roles as a member of SOPHE, a professional health educator, and a faculty member. Her students have gone on to be health educators or have continued their education in graduate or professional school programs.
Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES®
University Faculty and Researcher
University of Indianapolis
Heidi Hancher-Rauch, PhD, CHES® has been a university faculty member and researcher for approximately 15 years, the last 13 of those at the University of Indianapolis where she is a professor and director of the Public Health Program. She has practiced in the field for more than 20 years, including work in the areas of community disease prevention and worksite health. Her areas of expertise include health policy and advocacy, program evaluation, and evidence-based health promotion. Health advocacy has always been her main passion, with the majority of her publications and professional presentations on the topic. She teaches courses including Health Policy and Advocacy; Program Planning, Implementation & Evaluation; and Leadership in Public Health. Heidi provides professional service as the Board Trustee for Advocacy & Resolutions for SOPHE, serves on the SOPHE Advocacy Committee, is a member of the Top 10 Steering Committee, and previously served as the director of Indiana SOPHE Advocacy for two terms. Heidi started a chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma at the University of Indianapolis in 2019 and continues to serve as co-sponsor of the organization. She engages with community organizations such as the Indiana Minority Health Coalition as an outside evaluator and uses her advocacy skills to promote health equity and social justice every chance provided.
Alexis Blavos, PhD, MCHES®
Dr. Blavos is currently an Associate Professor in the Health Department at SUNY Cortland, and also serves as the National Director of Advocacy for Eta Sigma Gamma, the Deputy Coordinator and Webmaster for the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations, and the co-chair of the Society for Public Health’s advocacy committee. Dr. Blavos’ academic and work experiences include 10 years of service in the public health field as a practitioner and researcher. Among her many research interests are advocacy and health policy.
Jodi Brookins-Fisher, PhD, FESG, MCHES®
Central Michigan University
School of Health Sciences
Dr. Jodi Brookins-Fisher is the Division Director and Professor in the Division of Public Health, School of Health Sciences at Central Michigan University. She is currently the SOPHE Advocacy Committee co-chair and has served as the President of Eta Sigma Gamma. She is currently the Chapter Sponsor of Eta Chapter at CMU. She is a passionate human rights activist and believes strongly in equity for all groups when it comes to access and affordable health care. Additionally, she feels that advocacy within the Health Education profession should be at the forefront of our current and future endeavors.
Samantha Elly Mundt, BS, CHES
University of Indianapolis
Samantha Mundt is a 4+1 Public Health student at the University of Indianapolis. She will complete her undergraduate degree in August of 2021 and her Master's in Public Health the following year. In her time at UIndy, Samantha has served as president of the Epsilon Psi Chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, held internships with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition & the Hoosier Environmental Council, and served as the University of Indianapolis’ Collegiate Champion for SOPHE. Most recently, she has become the Student Representative for InSOPHE. Samantha’s interests are in health education, health administration, health policy & advocacy, and non-profit writing & editing.
Valerie Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES®
Dr. Valerie Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES is a specialist in health communication and public health. She has been a university faculty member at Cal State East Bay for more than 20 years. Dr Smith conducts research in emergency preparedness and response, including projects such as health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic; Afghan refugees during migration, resettlement, and adjustment; wildfire survivors, first responders, and providers. She has served as a program director for a variety of campus and community programs; program and policy planner; and a mixed-methods researcher in community-based participatory research.
Vanessa Maier, MD, MPH
Case Western Reserve University
Kristie Sun, MD Student
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Kristie is a second year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, with a Bachelors in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is part of the student team that assisted in developing the Advocacy and Public Health Pathway at CWRU SOM, and has held leadership roles in multiple CWRU organizations including the Health Advocacy Organization, Case Western Human Rights Initiative, and CWRU chapters of the AMA and APAMSA. Prior to entering medical school she spent a year working in high value care at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and she has continued to foster an interest in quality improvement and health policy through research projects and extracurricular interests.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Christina Wang is a second year medical school student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and co-leader of the Health Advocacy Organization at her medical school. Her main interests include social determinants of health and health policy, with an overall goal of becoming a public health-focused physician advocate in the future.