AMCHP Current Legislative Briefing and Advocacy Training Workshop
By Mike Fraser, PhD
With so many great sessions on the conference agenda it may be hard to choose just one during each block of workshops. As we look to the year ahead, it is clear that this year could be a watershed year for Congress in charting the future of state Title V MCH programs. So if you are planning a trip to Capitol Hill in conjunction with your visit to Washington for AMCHP, or you just want to know more about the legislative process and MCH policy making, you’ll want to attend AMCHP’s legislative briefing and advocacy training workshop on Tuesday, March 9. The workshop, co-facilitated by AMCHP’s Director of Policy Brent Ewig and Family Voices’ Policy Team member Brooke Lehmann, will provide information about federal legislation affecting women and children, including what changes will occur with national health reform and the current status of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.
A significant part of the workshop will include skills-building on how to be an effective advocate for Title V. While AMCHP’s policy staff is a presence in Washington on behalf of state Title V programs our voice is amplified when policymakers hear from you - their constituents. In this session Brent and Brooke will discuss some of the strategies and tactics they recommend for an effective Hill visit. For example, can you describe the importance of the Block Grant in just a few short sentences? Do you have a story of a successful program or problem solved that relates to Title V that might grab a Congresspersons’ attention and generate interest in your work? Can you describe why increased investment is needed in Title V, even with massive new spending for health care and coverage? Is your Congressperson on a committee with key decision-making control over the Block Grant and other MCH programs?
In addition to advocacy training, Brent and Brooke will discuss other national issues related to children and families, including the Family to Family Information Centers. Both inexperienced and experienced advocates are welcome to join in for what we are sure will be an educational, practical, and enjoyable session providing great background on MCH policy and useful strategies for effective advocacy.