APHA Update: Building a Public HealthMovement

From the desk of Jeanie Holt, NHPHA's representative to the American Public Health Association's Council of Affiliates

APHA Update: Building a Public Health Movement

As you may know NHPHA has a half-time Executive Assistant who manages many administrative and support functions. Most of the work of our Association is done by volunteers, including the Board of Directors. So our Board meetings require a balance of reporting on the “nitty gritty” and discussing the “big picture”—strategic thinking. Recently we watched a video on creating a movement. As we talked about the video we came to the conclusion that we want to create an “internal” movement—an active, passionate, expanding membership—as well as an “external” one—non-public health professionals understand what public health does and why it is important.

We invite you, our readers, to join this discussion. Watch the video, even if you have seen it before, thinking specifically about generating energy within NHPHA, an internal movement.

  • At 0:38, the first follower calls to his friends to join him. Do you encourage your colleagues to join NHPHA?

  • 1:17: the narrator talks about the gathering momentum. We celebrate the work of the Membership Committee which has grown our membership from a low of around 100 four years ago to over 150 members today. We have momentum. Can you give us an extra push?

  • 1:34: here is what we want to look like. People running, jumping over obstacles, practically pushing each other to join the movement. What ideas do you have for making NHPHA that attractive to potential members?

  • 2:07: in the recap, the narrator says, “be public. Be easy to follow.” Do you talk about NHPHA? Do you tell others what you get from being part of this statewide public health organization?

Among the ideas the Board came up with:

  • Find ways to attract more Department of Public Health Services employees into membership.

  • Communicate to everyone that “public health” is a broad umbrella that includes environmental health, occupational health, nursing, health education, even agriculture and transportation.

  • Survey non-members to learn more about what they want from a public health organization; what would make membership of value to them.

  • Review the survey we conducted of our own members to see if we are doing what we, the members, want us to do.

What ideas can you add to the list?  Email us: info@nhpha.org

NEXT MONTH: Creating an external movement for public health.

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