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Prevention Institute

Health Reform Rapid Response: August 16, 2013

Bring the Light, Bring the Heat, Post a Comment: Week Two of our Campaign 

Welcome to Week Two of our August Recess Campaign for Community Prevention! With Senators and Representatives in their home districts for the next few weeks, now is a great time for prevention champions to contact legislators directly—and to make your voices heard in the media, too. This week, we’re asking you to respond to stories in the media to help elevate your community’s successes.

The media shapes our understanding and impacts how we respond to events and issues. Imagine if you only understood community prevention through what you’d seen in the media… What would you learn? And more importantly, what wouldn’t you know about community prevention? We can use the media’s influence to inform the public and decision-makers about the values of community prevention. When the media gets it right—and when it misses the mark—it’s up to all of us to speak up.

To help you get the hang of doing a little media advocacy, we’re inviting you to post a comment on an online news story or article and make the case for prevention. Online comments are a great way to practice media advocacy and use the same skills involved in writing letters to the editor or Op-eds, which we’ll provide guidance on next week. Leave a comment on any of the stories below, or on other articles that you’ve seen. If you do leave a comment, be sure to send us an email with a link so we can highlight it in an upcoming Rapid Response. Here are this week’s stories:

  • A blog in the Seattle PI makes the case for the role of government in preventing chronic disease. It discusses a recent IOM report and sets the record straight about the use of funds from the Prevention and Public Health Fund: “The Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) was created as a national investment to reduce the occurrence of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.” When we see stories that get it right and underscore the need for community prevention, it’s important to praise them and take the opportunity to share prevention success stories from your own community.
  • A post on StreetsBlog Network examines the myth that removing parking spaces to create bike lanes is bad for businesses and “will scare away customers.” The blog notes that data from cities implementing these kinds of changes “is helping prove the dire predictions wrong. In fact, in many cases we’ve seen the opposite: cycling infrastructure seems to actually boost business.” The article provides prevention supporters a great hook to demonstrate that prevention initiatives are good for health—and for business.
  • An article in Fox Business highlights the rising costs of diabetes and other chronic diseases. Unfortunately, the solutions in the article focus only on the role of individuals, with no discussion of the greater environmental factors that shape health. Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate that health happens in our communities, in the places we live and work. If we really want to drive down healthcare costs and save lives, we need to implement prevention strategies that keep us healthy and safe, in the first place.
  • A story in Living Green Magazine “What’s For Lunch?” describes how school nutrition is improving and small farmers are getting more business as a result of the growing Farm-To-School movement in the U.S. Leave a comment on the importance of improving school food and how the Prevention and Public Health Fund makes this possible. Or give an example of what you’re doing in your community to improve kids’ health in schools.
  • An article in the Business section of The Detroit News covers how a statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants has improved health and business in some Michigan establishments. “Business has nearly tripled,” said Felix Landrum, owner of Cafe Felix in Ann Arbor. “Our clientele has thrived without cigarettes.” Leave a comment in support of smoke-free policies, or showcase similar efforts from your community that are making work environments healthier.

To help guide your comments, check out our updated online toolkit designed to help you make the case for community prevention.

Time to Thank Our Friends—and Make the Case for Prevention

Join us in thanking six Senators for their recent support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Use our simple tool to send a tailored letter. We need to mobilize many voices to send a loud, clear message of thanks.

Attend a Town-Hall Meeting

During August Recess, town-hall meetings provide a chance to make the case for ACA and the Prevention Fund, and how they are making a difference. Tell them how investments in prevention are reshaping your community, creating opportunities for good health in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.

If you attend a town-hall meeting, snap a picture and send it to us, or share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’ll share it—and you may get a shout-out in an upcoming Rapid Response!

See Our Cool Tools for Media Advocacy

We've updated our online toolkit designed to help you make the case for prevention through media advocacy, with tailored talking points, tips for communicating with the media, and more. Browse now.

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