Dear Colleagues -
Public Health in Ohio is currently at a fork in the road. Decisions will be made and work will be done in the next few months and in the next few years that will determine whether we take the path of continued success or regression.
The week of April 6 through April 12 has been set aside as National Public Health Week in the United States. On April 21 we have scheduled an OPHA advocacy event at the Statehouse in conjunction with our annual Public Policy Institute - across the street at the Riffe Building afterwards.
The purposes of National Public Health Week and the OPHA advocacy event are education and awareness. We need to educate our political leaders to make them aware of the successes in Public Health and the problems we face; we have to inform them of the dangers if these problems are not solved; and we need to inform them of the ramifications if these issues are not addressed. We need to educate and make the general public aware of how these issues affect them. Support from the general public is an effective way to encourage our political leaders to address the problems.
WE NEED YOUR HELP AND PARTICIPATION. One thing Public Health professionals can do in the next few months is support National Public Health Week and the OPHA advocacy initiative. You can be active in making the citizens and political leaders aware of the progress in Public Health and that there is still much more that needs to be done. This can be done through a formal campaign or informally by speaking to groups in your area and in general discussion with friends. You can make calls to political leaders and news media acquaintances to explain the Public Health issues and what should be done to correct them.
Remember,this is a state biennial budget year. You can work with local non-profit organizations (such as the Lung or Cancer Associations) and churches to have them participate in your campaign. You can research facts, statistics, successes and outstanding issues that affect your area and Ohio. You can learn about the state budget that is proceeding through the House and Senate. Time is of the essence to convey your support for Public Health issues to your state legislators.
Dom Frissora, President, OPHA