Together, with our community partners and fellow Alaskan advocates, the Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) Advocacy Team works to expand the culture of advocacy and strengthen our grassroots efforts at both the state and national levels.
APCA makes a critical impact on health policy and access in Alaska through their advocacy efforts. APCA’s Advocacy Team is prepared with expert knowledge to act as a voice for our membership and on behalf of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and other safety-net healthcare organizations. Together, we all advocate for improved healthcare access for individuals and the health status of communities.
Our Advocacy Team is the primary legislative watchdog for the uninsured and underserved populations in Alaska. We diligently educate lawmakers about the CHC model and the medical safety-net, and we support, oppose, influence, and propose specific legislation.
At the state level, APCA works closely with the Alaska State Legislature and the Health and Social Services Administration. On a federal level, APCA harbors close relationships with the Alaska State Federal Delegation and the United States HRSA and HHS to ensure positive health policy that will favorably impact CHCs and Alaska’s essential safety-net.
To accomplish the APCA Advocacy mission, the Advocacy Team monitors and reports on policy and issues that are relevant to CHCs and the populations they serve. The Advocacy Team carefully establishes and engages in working relationships with legislators, aides, and other governmental officials as liaisons to essential proposed health policy.
The Advocacy Team provides trainings and informational publications to inform members of current and upcoming legislative issues so community members can advocate for CHCs. The Team works with interested members to determine APCA’s annual legislative priorities and design strategies to meet those legislative goals. The Advocacy Team conducts candidates surveys, organizes forums and debates, creates advocacy how-to materials, participates in caucuses and coalitions, designs policy campaign strategies, and coaches and supports advocates throughout the grassroots process.
APCA members receive the following benefits and services from the Advocacy Team.
Like many of our members, APCA’s Advocacy Team is highly aware of and concerned with issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Because Alaska is made up of people with a wide variety of diversity, it is critical that our eye remains focused on ensuring justice, equity, and inclusivity in our policy proposals.
In 2021, we launched a several year initiative with the goal of helping our CHCs be more aware of these social issues. This initiative, tentatively referred to as the Journey to Integration, utilizes the quadruple aim as a framework as help CHCs move towards whole person care, value over volume pay, and multi-faceted integration.
This work will take some time, but we hope that every Alaskan will see the benefits in our healthcare and safety-net system.
The Policy and Advocacy Committee (PAC) meets on the first Friday of every month. The Committee is made up of the Advocacy Team and APCA leadership as well as Health Center staff, board members, partner organizations, and volunteers. We welcome any individual interested in Community Health Center Policy to participate in these monthly proceedings. The Committee follows state and federal policy priorities, provides testimony and comments on legislation and regulatory policy changes, and engages in group learning to become more effective advocates for Alaska Health Centers. The Committee also hosts a weekly legislative issues call-in during the winter legislative session.