Accomplished public health advocates who work in a variety of settings on various health topics will lecture and introduce students to a broad range of perspectives and advocacy experiences. Class discussion and exercises, group work, and mock health advocacy exercises will serve to integrate and illuminate lecture topics.
Students are strongly urged to attend class and come prepared to listen, think, and participate in discussions. The grade for the course will be based on class attendance and participation (20%), three writing assignments (20% each), and participation in a mock legislative hearing (20%). Instructions for the assignments will be given in class; due dates are included in the syllabus.
Students who would like to work with an advocacy organization for additional credit or as part of the course (class assignments would be modified to compensate for the time spent working for the organization) please see Ms. DeFrancesco ASAP. Dr. Dan Morhaim, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, is willing to provide an "internship" experience for interested students; other placements are possible.
To ascertain a working definition of public health advocacy, and to differentiate it from public campaigns aimed at changing unhealthy or unsafe behaviors
To begin to gain an appreciation for the components of a public health advocacy effort and the barriers and aids to success.
"The Advocacy Connection," Chapter 2 in Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention, L. Wallack, L. Dorfman, D. Jernigan and M. Themba. Sage Publications, 1993.
Lynn Cook, MHS, CHES
To learn what media advocacy is and understand its use as a tool for public health advocacy; to learn how to frame a media story.
Media Advocacy: A Strategy for Advancing Policy and Promoting Health. L. Wallack and L. Dorfman. Health Education Quarterly. Vol. 23(3):293-317. August 1996.
Class exercise in media advocacy
"Young Boy Pulled Trigger, Killing Mother, Police Say. Bob Robertson. Pittsburgh Post- Gazette. July 23, 1994, p. B6.
"Childproof Guns" (Letter to the Editor). Susan DeFrancesco. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 12, 1994.
"Parents Face a Dilemma: Custody vs. Care." William Branigin and Victoria Benning. The Washington Post. February 18, 2000, p. AO1.
"Activists: Ads tempt teens to smoke" by Phuong Ly, Charlotte Observer, 12-21-98
"Ads urge teens not to start smoking" by The Associated Press, Winston-Salem Journal, 12-22-98
"Drug Companies in South Africa Capitulate Under Barrage of Public Pressure," webplaced on Medecins Sans Frontieres website, April 19, 2001.
Building Coalitions and Using Voter Education to Implement Public Health Goals
Glenn Schneider, Deputy Director, MD Citizens Health Initiative
To further understand the components of a public health advocacy campaign, including the importance of coalition building and the use of the media; to recognize the use of voter education as an advocacy tactic.
Elections and Public Health. V. DeMarco and G. Schneider. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 90, No. 10:1513-1514. October 2000.
"Developing Effective Coalitions: An Eight-Step Guide," L. Cohen, N. Baer, and P. Satterwhite. Spring 1994. Contra Costa County Health Services Department Prevention Program.
Legislation as a Tool for Health Advocacy
Shelley Hearne, Dr. P.H.
To understand the legislative, administrative, and judicial role in policymaking; to be able to assess the advocacy intervention points in the policymaking process.
The Passage of Maryland’s Gun Law: Data and Advocacy for Injury Prevention. S. Teret, G. Alexander, L. Bailey. Journal of Public Health Policy. Vol. 11, No.1. Spring 1990.
Advocating for Children’s Health at the State Level: Lessons Learned. M.E. Aitken, L.A. Rowland, G. Wheeler. Arch. Pediatr. Adolesc. Med. Vol. 155. August 2001.
Advocacy in Health Care: the Maryland State Legislature
Dan Morhaim, MD Delegate, 11th District, Maryland General Assembly
To understand the legislative process in Maryland and the role of the public health advocate in policy development and political debate.
Browse the Maryland General Assembly website at http://mlis.state.md.us and Dr. Morhaim’s website at www.drdanmorhaim.com
Second Assignment will be distributed -- due February 28.
Grassroots Advocacy: Community Advocates and Public Health
Betty Robinson, Director, Community Organizing, The Citizens Planning and Housing Association
Wardie Smith, Community Organizer, Maryland Chapter of the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
To understand the role of community organizing in public health advocacy; to gain a sensitivity to the interpersonal issues involved in working with communities.
An Agenda of Substance: Grassroots Efforts to Reduce Alcohol and Tobacco Problems. Chapter 2 in Making Policy, Making Change: How Communities are Taking Law into Their Own Hands, Makani N. Themba. Chardon Press, 1999.
Class exercise to integrate new knowledge
Should Academicians Advocate?/Advocacy in the Courtroom
To gain an appreciation for the issues that frame the debate regarding the academician’s role as advocate; to gain insight into the role of the public health professional in courtroom advocacy.
So What? S. Teret. Epidemiology, Vol. 4, No. 2, p.93. March 1993. Policy Recommendations in Epidemiology Research Papers. K. Rothman. Epidemiology, Vol. 4, No. 2, p.94. March 1993.
Reflections: Testifying in the Minnesota tobacco lawsuit. J. Samet. Tobacco Control. 1999:8:101-5.
Advocacy: A Vital Element in Strategic Communication in Many Countries
Phyllis T. Piotrow Ph.D., Professor and Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
To understand the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs’ approach to health advocacy and the use of the paradigm in international settings.
"A" Frame for Advocacy at www.jhuccp.org/pr/advocacy (read through sections from Analysis to Continuity). Website of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs. Also, click on "Article on Advocacy" for Some Thoughts on Advocacy for Reproductive Health Programs by Phyllis Tilson Piotrow, Ph.D; also see www.jhuccp.org/pr/advocacy/about/ccp.htm for information about the work of the the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communications Programs.
Public Health Preparedness: Analysis of the Current Political Debate
Shelley Hearne, Dr. P.H.
To better understand the technical and political aspects of a current public health issue in preparation for the course's culminating exercise.
Bioterrorism: Review of Public Health Preparedness Programs.Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Statement of Janet Heinrich, Director, Health Care-Public Health Issues. GAO-02-149T, October 10, 2001. Available on the General Accounting Office (GAO) website – go to , click on GAO reports, Find GAO reports, and search for the report by its number.
Bioterror: An Uneasy Fit for the CDC. New York Times, Nov. 11, 2001.
Other readings may be assigned.
Assignment for Culminating Class Exercise will be distributed - due March 14.
Advocating for National Policies to Protect Consumer Safety and Health Mary Ellen Fise, J.D., General Counsel, Consumer Federation of America
To comprehend the variety of tactics that are used to influence federal public health policies and the challenges involved in implementing those tactics.
Selected parts of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
The Law of Lobbying and Advocacy for Non-Profits
Jon Vernick, J.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
To better understand the important role of non-profit organizations in public health advocacy and legal limitations on their lobbying efforts
Lobbying and Advocacy for the Public’s Health: What are the Limits for Nonprofit Organizations? J. Vernick. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 89, No. 9:1425-1429. September 1999.
No class - faculty will be available in our classroom for consultation regarding the culminating exercise;
classroom can also be used by students to work on their preparations.
Culminating Class Exercise - Mock Congressional hearing
Please note: This class will be held in W2008 SPH.
Additional Background Reading
(These books are on reserve in the 9th floor library and are available for purchase from the Medical Book Store).
Public Health Advocacy: Creating Community Change to Improve Health. David G. Altman et al. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, 1994.
News for A Change: An Advocate’s Guide to Working With the Media. L. Wallack, K. Woodruff, L. Dorfman and I. Diaz. Sage Publications, 1999.