Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 11. Organizations and Health Advocacy

← 158 | 159 →·11·


In Chapter 10, we explored how health advocacy may begin at the micro-level with a patient advocate. In this chapter, we examine health advocacy at the macro-level. Specifically, we consider several organizations that are advocates of various health issues. It should be noted that these organizations may sometimes “advocate” in the sense of representing others in supporting a health-related cause; these organizations may not necessarily conduct a health advocacy campaign to persuade policymakers. Nonetheless, their support is vital because it helps amplify the voices of those they represent. For example, if there is no large diabetic-care organization that supports diabetes-related research and monitors federal funding decisions for such research, policymakers may assume that there is no demand or pressure to fund such research and decide to cut funding for diabetes-related research. In this chapter, we list examples of organizations that advocate for specific health-related issues and discuss how such organizations may forward a health advocacy initiative.

Susan G. Komen, commonly referred to as Komen, is a non-profit organization which exclusively focuses on fighting breast cancer. It was founded ← 159 | 160 →in 1982 and is widely known for its pink ribbon symbol. Since its inception, it has funded more than $847 million in research, and more than $1.8 billion in screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support (Susan G. Komen, n.d.-a). One of the main agendas for Komen is advocacy. Specifically, Komen strives to ensure breast cancer is a priority among policymakers and to enhance access to breast cancer care...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.