#HealthPolicyMatters Week: Jan 16-20, 2017

By Kim Pham

I first experienced HPSA's #HealthPolicyMatters campaign last year, when HPSA engaged with students, faculty, and staff in the SPH lobby by asking everyone why health policy matters to them. My answer still rings true back then as it does now: health policy matters because affordable, high-quality health care should be seen as a human right.

In light of what has transpired in the U.S. political climate this year, the HPSA Executive Board found it befitting to kick off #HealthPolicyMatters Week on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we reflected on the theme of U-M's 31st MLK Symposium, Sounds of Change, we have felt the impact and importance of health policy now more than ever. According to Symposium's Theme Statement, "[Sounds of change] implicitly addresses the plurality of change: positive, negative, and ambivalent... It can represent dialogue that motivates, noise that drowns out discussion, and indeed, silence itself as a means of creating change."  

Ultimately people are the producers of sound and so are the agents of change.
— U-M MLK Symposium 2017

With this sentiment, we were excited to hold an Advocacy workshop led by UM-SPH Director of Governmental RelationsJen Martin, followed by our signature #HealthPolicyMatters campaign in the SPH lobby. This culminated with a HPSA social event for our members before the inauguration of the 45th U.S. President, Donald J. Trump. Our goal with this campaign, as well as our mission, is to help others better understand how this is relevant to them, and to help them become involved in health policy.

We are grateful to our HPSA members, faculty advisors, and collaborators for supporting us in our endeavors, and we hope everyone enjoyed this year's #HealthPolicyMatters week. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.