The Grassroots Advocacy Leadership Program (ALP) is an extended skills-building program that will begin during the NACHC P&I in March 2018 and continue through September 2018. It is designed to provide intensive training and hands-on experience in all aspects of Health Center Advocacy.
Health Centers simultaneously encounter various challenges and opportunities on the federal, state, and local levels - now more than ever, Health Center Advocacy has never been more important. The NACHC Grassroots Advocacy Leadership Program is designed to prepare Health Center and primary care association (PCA) staff, board members, patients, and other Advocates with the knowledge and tools to be grassroots advocacy leaders in their Health Centers and communities.
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What does the program consist of?
- One half-day “kick-off” in Washington, DC during NACHC’s P&I in March (the ALP kick-off will take place on March 13, 2018). The kick-off will cover Health Center Advocacy 101 including the legal dos and don’ts of Health Center Advocacy. Participants will also complete an interactive advocacy planning activity, meet their “Advocacy Buddy”, a member of NACHC’s Advocacy Staff assigned to assist the participant one-on-one with advocacy planning, and their "Advocacy Peer", an ALP participant at a similar-sized organization.
- Two to four additional advocacy educational sessions offered to all P&I registrants. These educational sessions will occur throughout the course of the P&I and will cover additional topics to those addressed during ALP kick-off.
- Four monthly, educational webinars that cover additional advocacy topics ofinterest. NACHC advocacy staff takes requests for these topics from ALP Participants, but potential topics include Health Center Funding 101, Using Social Media for Health Center Advocacy, Using Pictures and Videos for Health Center Advocacy, Voter Registration & Civic Engagement, Congress 101, Developing Relationships with Members of Congress, Advocacy Communications 101, Developing Health Center Advocacy Plans, and more.
- One ALP Advocacy Project and an informal project presentation to other ALP Participants during one of two webinars held in September. Learn more about the ALP Advocacy Project in the section below.
ALP participants who remain engaged throughout the course of the program and who complete the ALP Advocacy Project will receive a certificate of completion from NACHC and be featured on the Health Center Advocacy Network Website as “Masters of Advocacy”.
What’s the ALP Advocacy Project?
ALP Participants are encouraged to undertake projects that directly contribute to increasing the grassroots base in support of Health Centers and/or make the case for Health Centers to the government. Some good examples of past ALP Advocacy Projects are:
- Creating a video featuring staff and/or patient testimonials speaking to the value of Health Centers
- Organizing an event during National Health Center Week to increase awareness and educate the public on Health Centers
- Developing an advocacy plan for your Health Center that includes specific goals and attempts to raise your Health Center’s voice on the Health Center Advocacy landscape
- Kick-starting a story-banking campaign to collect patient and staff stories speaking to the value Health Centers
- Working to meet NACHC advocacy goals
NACHC Advocacy Buddies will work with ALP participants one-on-one to identify the right project and help to frame specific goals and tasks. ALP participants should feel free to contact their Advocacy Buddies with any questions.
Near the end of the ALP, in September, ALP Participants will attend two final webinars consisting of project presentations. Participants will be expected to spend 5-10 minutes discussing their ALP Advocacy Projects and taking questions from other participants.
Who should participate in the ALP?
- Any Health Center staff, Board Members, or patients as well as PCA staff who have not previously participated in the program are eligible. We recommend that ALP participants be someone who can dedicate time to organizing advocacy efforts in their area and who can and will serve in an "advocacy coordinator" capacity.
- Participants must attend NACHC’s P&I in March.
- No more than two individuals per organization may participate in the ALP in a given year.
- Advocacy does not have to be your full-time job, but you should commit to taking action on behalf of your Health Center as part of the program through the ALP Advocacy Project.
How can I participate in the ALP?
If you’re interested in the ALP or know someone who may be interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-up. NACHC advocacy staff will follow-up with additional information on the registration process. Those interested should be willing to commit to attending the full P&I including the required half-day ALP kick-off as well as the four educational webinars and completing the ALP Advocacy Project. The cost of the program is $75 (this does not include the conference registration fee). The program is limited to 30 participants, so make sure to sign-up early.
Why should I participate in the ALP?
Attendance at NACHC’s P&I, participation in the ALP webinars, and one-on-one assistance from NACHC advocacy staff will prepare ALP participants to be Health Center Advocacy leaders in their communities and states. ALP “Masters of Advocacy” will, upon completion of the program . . .
- Be well-versed in the federal policy issues affecting Health Centers
- Feel confident in communicating the Health Center Advocacy message to colleagues, community members, and government officials including Members of Congress
- Have concrete ideas ranging from Tweetchats to grassroots petition drives for growing the Health Center Grassroots Network in their communities and/or states
Previous ALP Participants have said they would recommend the program to others interested in Health Center Advocacy. Alumni have shared that the program helped them to “learn the nuts and bolts of advocacy” and “create an advocacy roadmap for the whole Health Center”. Other participants indicated that the webinars “helped increase my knowledge of the community health centers on a national level”. One participant summed it up: “The ALP Program was a wonderful learning experience, and I enjoyed working with both fellow participants and the NACHC staff! I am excited to build on the foundation established as part of my ALP project and continue to be an Advocate for underserved populations.”
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