Advocating for Public Health

Advocacy TrainingMany factors affect the public health concerns identified by members of the Upper Valley community. These may include:

  • Access to Services (e.g. cost, location, or capacity);
  • Environmental Factors (e.g., safe and affordable housing, physical environment); and, among others,
  • Public Policy at the local, state, and national levels.

Recognizing that public policies can advance or inhibit our efforts to adress the priority health concerns of our region, the Public Health Council has a three-part plan to increase local policy action:

  1. Educate local policymakers about the priority health concerns of the region and how public policy affects the work we are doing with our partners.
  2. Provide training to our partners and members of our communities in how to advocate for public policy change.
  3. Link partners and members of our communities to respected organizations with a specific focus on advocacy around the issues of concern to our region.

Educate Local Policymakers

Host Bi-State Legislative events every two years to:

  • Educate legislators about the health issues of greatest concern to Upper Valley residents.
  • Share ways public policy affects Upper Valley residents access to high quality, affordable, coordinated, and consistent services.
  • Promote conversations to increase policy coordination between New Hampshire and Vermont.
    Our first event was held on September 16, 2019. READ MORE

Breakfast Photo

Provide Training

Provide training opportunities each year for partners and other residents who want to learn about the legislative process and how to engage with legislators. We work closely with organizations like New Futures to ensure high-quality speakers and resources. New Futures also provides a regular schedule of training opportunities you can participate in at any time.

On March 4th, 2020, the PHC hosted our first bi-state advocacy training at Kilton Library in West Lebanon. The training was facilitated by two of New Futures’ Community Engagement Coordinators (Jess Wojenski and Pedro Altagracia), as well as Bi-State Primary Care’s Director of Vermont Public Policy, Helen Labun. READ MORE

Link Partners to Respected Advocacy Organizations

The table below provides links to a number of Vermont and New Hampshire organizations that work diligently to influence public policy to benefit the residents of our states. The list also includes a few regional or national organizations. Some work on the state-level and some work on the national level. You can follow the links to these organizations’ webpages and explore their policy priorities.

We encourage members of the Upper Valley community to engage with policymakers on the topics that they are passionate about. Please note that the Public Health Council does not lobby and we will never attempt to influence any person’s actions on behalf of or against legislation. We only provide education about the issues of concern to our region. If you choose to engage in direct advocacy by communicating with policymakers about specific legislation, you do so on your own behalf and should not speak for the Public Health Council. That being said, we hope to enjoy exercising your democratic right to act politically.

Advocacy Organizations Dedicated to Health and Safety

DescriptionSubstance Misuse & AddictionAccess to
Mental Health
Care Services
Access to Primary Care ServicesHealth Care & Supports for Older AdultsGender Based ViolenceChildAbuse & Neglect

Vermont Based Resources

Bi-StateWorks to ensure that all individuals have access to appropriate, high-quality, integrated primary and preventive health care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.Access to Primary Care Services
Community of Vermont Elders - Health Care and Support for Older AdultsCOVE is a small but powerful advocacy and education organization serving the needs of older Vermonters since 1981. COVE has maintained a strong and consistent voice in public policy decision-making to ensure the dignity, security and well-being of all aging Vermonters.Visit this organizations website
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Access to Mental Health Care ServicesA grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life for all by providing support, education and advocacy for people affected by mental illness and suicide.Visit this organizations website
Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems - Access to Primary Care ServicesA member-owned organization comprised of Vermont’s network of not-for-profit hospitals. We are committed to building a vibrant, healthy Vermont. Our work includes advocacy, policy development, education and research.Visit this organizations website
Vermont Medical Society - Access to Primary Care ServicesServes the public by facilitating and enhancing physicians' individual and collective commitments, capabilities, and efforts to improve the quality of life for the people of Vermont through the provision of accessible and appropriate health care services.Visit this organizations website
Voices for Vermont's Children - Vermont - Child Abuse and NeglectA statewide membership organization of several hundred individuals and organizations conducting advocacy, outreach and community organizing on behalf of Vermont’s children and youth.Visit this organizations website

New Hampshire Based Resources

Bi-State Primary Care AssociationWorks to ensure that all individuals have access to appropriate, high-quality, integrated primary and preventive health care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.Visit this organizations website
National Alliance on Mental IllnessA grassroots organization working to improve the quality of life for all by providing support, education and advocacy for people affected by mental illness and suicide.Visit this organizations website
New FuturesAdvocates, educates, and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents through policy change. Priority areas include: health policy, alcohol and other drugs, early childhood, access to treatment, and children’s behavioral health.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website
New Hampshire Alliance for Heathy AgingAims to raise our collective voice in support of the aging population in New Hampshire, promoting a strong, stable infrastructure for healthy aging.Visit this organizations website
New Hampshire Children's-Behavioral-AssociationAims to support and strengthen a comprehensive and integrated System of Care for children and youth who experience behavioral health challenges in New Hampshire and strives to guide policy thinking on issues related to meeting the needs of children with behavioral health issues.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual AssultCreates safe and just communities through advocacy, prevention and empowerment of anyone affected by sexual violence, domestic violence and stalking.Visit this organizations website
New Hampshire Providers AssociationThe mission of the NHPA is to represent its members in advancing substance use prevention, treatment and recovery through public policy, leadership, professional development, and quality member services.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website
New Hampshite Public Health AssociationA member-driven organization that champions public health policy and practice, enriches the workforce, and inspires leaders to improve the public’s health.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website

Regional and National Resources

Family Caregiver AllianceOperates the National Center on Caregiving, through which we produce legislative analyses, research reports, and newsletters documenting public policy, emerging trends and caregiver needs and services.Visit this organizations website
Depression and Bipolar Support AllianceAdvocates for placing peers at the forefront when determining needs and best practices for mental health services.Visit this organizations website
National Council for Behavioral HealthAdvocates for policies that ensure people who have mental health and substance abuse disorders have access to comprehensive, evidence-based health care services.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website
https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/policy-agenda/Advocates for policies, practices and resources needed to effectively prevent substance use and treat addiction by pairing research and the experience of families and urging all levels of government to take action.Visit this organizations website
Planned Parenthood of Northern New EnglandAdvocates for sexual and reproductive health issues, urging policymakers at all levels of government to promote reproductive health, rights, and justice.Visit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations websiteVisit this organizations website
Primary Care CollaborativeOur policy strategy is focused on increased investment in primary care through alternative payment models that enable PCMHs and other types of advanced primary care to provide integrated, higher-value care that connects to the community.Visit this organizations website
WaypointThe Waypoint advocacy program is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through legislative, judicial and public policy initiatives.Visit this organizations website