UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2017-18

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STUDENT CHANGE AGENTS

MAKING

the

CASE

AT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES, WHERE FSPH ADVOCACY FELLOW KATY WANG IS TRAINING, PHYSICIANS AND RESIDENTS ADVOCATED FOR CHILDREN’S HEALTH ON THE NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION.

The Fielding School’s Public Health Training Program on Population Health Advocacy is preparing students for careers as effective change agents.

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PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTITIONERS KNOW WHAT IT TAKES to effect positive change, but the high rates of preventable diseases and persistence of health inequities, among other public health concerns, signal that much remains to be done. “People being healthy often has to do with larger systems or conditions of their environment,” says Dr. Michael Prelip, professor and chair of FSPH’s Department of Community Health Sciences. “By taking on a greater leadership role in advocating for the big-picture changes that are needed in communities, we in public health have an opportunity to be much more successful in advancing our goals.” Traditionally, the opportunities for future public health leaders to learn about and engage in advocacy during their academic training have been limited. But the Fielding

U C L A F I E L D I N G S C H O O L O F P U B L I C H E A LT H M AG A Z I N E

School takes a proactive approach to training and engagement, and Prelip heads an initiative that is equipping FSPH students with the skills and experiences that will help them become effective advocates as public health professionals. The UCLA Public Health Training Program on Population Health Advocacy, now in its second year, embeds students in community-based organizations for sustained on-the-ground training designed to build their advocacy skills. With initial funding from The California Endowment, the program started in 2016 with six advocacy fellows; in 2017, thanks to additional funding from the Max Factor Family Foundation, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and the Fielding School, 25 advocacy fellows received support. Most students contribute 650 hours