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Health Advocacy

A Communication Approach


Marifran Mattson and Chervin Lam

There is growing emphasis in Health Communication on the study of communication processes that aim to change systems, policies, beliefs, attitudes, and/or behaviors for the betterment of the health of individuals and communities. Engagement on behalf of individual and community health is the basis of health advocacy - the attempted effort to change health policies so that better health outcomes may result.
This book explores the processes and strategies involved in creating a health advocacy campaign to guide current and aspiring health advocates to successfully advocate for policy change.
The Health Communication Advocacy Model is provided as a framework for exploring these issues. The model emphasizes the message design process, particularly in the tailoring of messages to address the needs of target audiences. However, consideration of important health advocacy concepts also is provided, including how to organize an advocacy team, approaches to formative research, research-based strategies for crafting effective health advocacy messages, and recommendations for what to do when an advocacy campaign is ending. This framework is designed for users to execute an advocacy effort for any health issue – from obesity, to cancer and smoking - in an efficient and effective manner.
Ultimately, readers will learn how to lead a successful advocacy campaign and accomplish their desired advocacy goals.
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Marifran appreciates her Mom, Berni, and Dad, John, for instilling in her the desire and responsibility to serve others, especially those less fortunate. She also acknowledges all those she learned the motivation for and the skills of campaigning from, including her fellow amputees and her professors and mentors. She also recognizes and greatly appreciates Chervin’s enthusiasm for and engagement with this book project. Without his effort, this project would still be in process.

Chervin wishes to thank Jesus Christ for the opportunity of graduate school, for helping him throughout this entire book project, and for giving him the strength and ability to write for prolonged hours over many months. Chervin also wishes to thank his parents, Thomas and Doris, for their love and support. Lastly, Chervin wishes to thank Professor Mattson for allowing him to co-author this book; although it was a tiring experience, it also was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. ← ix | x →

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