Board of health members have a unique opportunity to advocate for good public health policy in their community. Public health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals” (1920, C.E.A. Winslow). One of the core functions of public health is assuring that public health needs are met and this can done by advocating for policies that address the particular public health challenges each county faces. In order to be effective, board of health members need to understand what their responsibilities are, what advocacy is, and what methods are available to use to advocate for change

Advocacy is the deliberate process of influencing those who make policy decisions through education and specific actions.  It is not only about creation or reform of policies but also about effective implementation, enforcement and evaluation of policies. A policy is a plan, course of action or set of regulations adopted by government, business or an institution designed to influence and determine decisions or procedures. Advocacy is a means to an end, another way to address the problems program strategies aim to solve.

Local Board of Health Advocacy Guide
What is Advocacy
Clarifying the Confusion: Advocacy vs. Lobbying
Working with Others
Potential Partners

Advocacy Options

Writing Letters to the Editor
Writing an Op-Ed
Attending Town Hall Meetings
Writing Policymakers
Calling Policymakers
Visiting Policymakers

Smokefree Air Information

Local Board of Health Smokefree Air Supplement
BOH Tobacco Control Law Success Stories
The Board of Health’s Role in Supporting Smokefree Communities
Smokefree Air Strategy
Indiana Campaign for Smokefree Air (ICSA)
Smokefree Air Talking Points
Fundamentals of Smokefree Air Policy Development for Hoosier Communities
Indiana Smokefree Air Model Ordinance

Smokefree Air Resolution Examples

National (NALBOH)
State (ICSA)
Local (Vanderburgh County)