When the Society for Public Health Education held its Annual Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C. earlier this fall, Dr. Heidi Hancher-Rauch, Director of UIndy’s Public Health Program, presented on the importance of credentialing in the public health field and specifically in relation to the current opioid crisis. Hancher-Rauch serves as the SOPHE Advocacy and Resolutions Trustee.
“Our public health issues continue to be wide-reaching and complex,” Hancher-Rauch said. “Credentialing of public health professionals ensures that the people on the front lines of creating solutions to those issues are knowledgeable and effective advocates and change-makers.”
The Annual Advocacy Summit is designed to provide advanced advocacy training for the conference attendees, as well as an opportunity to put those advocacy skills to use in the U.S. Capitol. Each year, the participants of the Advocacy Summit meet with policy makers from their respective states on Capitol Hill to advocate for specific public health issues.
This year they were advocating for the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act to be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives. The CARE act provides $100 billion of funding over the next decade for prevention and treatment of opioid addictions.
UIndy Masters of Public Health (MPH) student Amy Rohr, attended the summit with Hancher-Rauch and had the opportunity to be on the front line of combating a major public health crisis.
“This conference fueled my passion and love for public health,” Rohr said. “I gained professional networks and experience in a field that I love, and the knowledge to advocate effectively.”
Rohr is one of many UIndy MPH students who are involved in SOPHE and other public health organizations in order to begin make a difference in the public health field even as students.