PHACT

Members of APHA’s Action Board, which helps coordinate the association’s grassroots advocacy efforts, discuss PHACT priorities with staff from the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Photo by APHA’s PHACT Campaign

Americans count on public health programs to keep their families and communities healthy and safe, but the nation’s well-being is at risk. From funding not keeping pace with public health needs to the lack of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence — the leading cause of premature death in the U.S. — decisions made by members of Congress impact all U.S. communities.

This summer APHA is once again empowering its members, Affiliates and other health advocates to make their voices heard on these critical issues through its annual Public Health ACTion, or PHACT, Campaign. PHACT encourages communication directly with members of Congress when they are at home during the congressional recesses — June 27-July 6 and Aug. 1-Sept. 7 — to educate them about public health and the importance of their actions.

“Your voice does matter, and when we speak up together, Congress is more likely to listen,” said Nicole Burda, APHA’s deputy director of government relations. “It is not only our opportunity, but our responsibility, to communicate the need for change around these important public health issues to our nation’s leaders.”

Legislative priorities for this year’s campaign include: increased public health funding, protection of the Prevention and Public Health Fund and stopping gun violence.

The PHACT Campaign offers an action kit, released this week on APHA’s website, featuring resources and tips on advocating for these issues. The kit includes sample phone scripts and emails for contacting members of Congress, tips for writing letters to the editor and op-eds, tips for reaching out to media and social media networks, resources for finding data and information about public health in each state.

Advocates are encouraged to share PHACT priorities with colleagues, coalition partners, friends and family. You can also connect with members of Congress or their local staff by calling, writing, attending a public forum or setting up an in-person meeting.

Visit APHA’s website for more information on PHACT and many other advocacy resources. For questions or assistance planning PHACT activities, contact PHACT@apha.org.