The 2018 Policy Academy has come to a close. Check out the recap and one participant's experience with the Academy.
The Policy Academy at the National Coalition of STD Directors (NSCD) is a program designed to assist public health employees and their partners to educate policymakers within the confines of their profession. The Policy Academy also provides supports participants in advancing their policy skills to effectively participate in addressing public health issues.
The program consists of five online modules where participants receive training on the policy making process, developing policy recommendations, effective messaging using data, coalition building and creating action plans. Participants who complete all five modules are invited to a bonus in-person meeting held in Washington, DC to put their policy advocacy skills to work.
The Policy Academy made me excited to further pursue work in public health policy.Kaitlin Vigil, A DIS from Maricopa County, AZ
At the in-person meeting participants put final touches on their policy briefs and practiced messaging around their issue in preparation for educational meetings with Members of Congress. This year, the Policy Academy culminated with educational meetings on Capitol Hill with policymakers. A majority of participants met with their elected Representatives and Senators to educate them on significant public health issues in their states.
Kaitlin Vigil, a Communicable Disease Investigator at Maricopa County Department of Public Health in Arizona, participated in the 2018 Policy Academy and attended the in-person meeting in Washington, DC. Vigil provided NCSD with valuable feedback about her experience in the Policy Academy.
How would you describe your experience in the Policy Academy?
I absolutely loved my time in policy academy. I have a passion for public health, so it was fascinating to learn about the policy side of our work in STD prevention. Policy Academy made me excited to further pursue work in public health policy.
What would you like others to know about the Policy Academy?
Policy Academy will walk you through the entire policy creation process. It gives you the opportunity to choose a subject you feel passionate about and see it through to the end. You don’t need a background in policy.
What were your key takeaways?
I learned how to understand a health department’s role in the policy process, build a coalition to maximize efficiency and resources, and effectively convey your message to a target audience.
What’s one thing you learned that you plan to use in your day-to-day work? How will you use it?
I will utilize the tools learned in the messaging workshop in my day to day work. I have learned that it is important to be deliberate, yet conversational when discussing policies.
What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other Policy Academy participants in DC. I think my friends at home are tired of me relating every conversation to STDs, so it was a blast to be around other individuals who are just as excited about STD prevention as I am.
Would you recommend this to others? Why?
I would absolutely recommend Policy Academy to anyone in the STD field who is interested in policy. This experience has inspired me, opened my eyes to new opportunities in the public health field, and refreshed my passion for public health.
Feel free to add anything else!
NCSD, feel free to let me know if you want me to join your team!