Raising Our Voices: Championing the importance of global health on Capitol Hill
Loyce Pace, MPH, President and Executive Director, Global Health Council
The Global Health Council is a member of the Georgia Global Health Alliance
This period of time marks an important moment for global health. One in which our landscape is shifting. There is still a substantial need for global health investments and programs. We are continuing to work towards ending major causes of death worldwide, while other emerging and persistent diseases require our attention. Coupled with this changing global health burden, is the change in available international and domestic financing. Finally, U.S. politics could possibly dictate the role America plays in addressing ongoing global health priorities and funding or otherwise supporting global health.
This is not a time to back down.
That’s where advocacy comes in. More and more we need to call on those who know firsthand the problems we face in global health and understand the opportunities at-hand to speak up. It is critical that elected officials and other policymakers who hold the key to decisions and funding hear from those of us on the frontlines. Taking action can be as simple as calling your member of Congress or as involved as making a trip to Washington, DC to meet with staff on Capitol Hill. Global Health Council (GHC) and its partners lead campaigns promoting the importance of global health, and highlight progress made. GHC has featured such efforts as part of our “Global Health Works” briefing book and weekly newsletter.
What’s important to understand is that this call to action isn’t limited to those of us in Washington, DC. Champions at the state level have a unique perspective and added value. First off, congressional offices respond well to their own constituents. Secondly, local stakeholders have firsthand experience regarding how global health programs affect their own communities in the U.S. Finally, in an era when people are questioning America’s role in the world, we need a groundswell of voices countering the argument that putting America first is in our best interest or that development is an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. We know that development is a critical part of how the United States engages with the rest of the world, improving lives and economies worldwide and keeping America safe and thriving in the process. There are many of us who believe in the power of global health and people in power need to hear from us, too. So, we invite you to join our chorus.
About Global Health Council
Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy.
Stay up-to-date on what’s going on in Washington, DC and find information on how to be involved at http://globalhealth.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/advocacy-updates/