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.
The APCA makes a significant difference in health policy and access in Alaska through their advocacy efforts. With expert knowledge and understanding of health care delivery systems, the APCA serves as a voice for our membership acting on the behalf of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and other safety net healthcare organizations to advocate for improving health care access for individuals and the health status of communities.
While educating lawmakers about the CHC model and the medical safety-net, as well as supporting, opposing, and influencing specific legislation, the APCA is the primary legislative watchdog in Alaska for the un-insured and under-insured populations.
The APCA works at the state level with the Alaska State Legislature and the Health and Social Services Administration, as well as with the Alaska state Federal Delegation and United States HRSA and HHS to ensure positive health policy that will favorably impact CHCs and the safety net.
The Advocacy Team
The Advocacy Team, consisting of Jon Zasada – Policy Integration Director, Jessie Menkens – Safety Net Initiatives Manager, Genevieve – Communications Specialist, and Jeff Logan – APCA legislative consultant, work on behalf of members to monitor and report on policy and issues that are relevant to CHCs and the populations they serve. The Advocacy Team works frequently with legislators, aides, and other governmental officials as liaisons to convey the CHC message and help influence the direction of proposed policy.
Producing regular publications to inform members of legislative issues, the Team also provides advocacy training to community members to become CHC advocates. The Team works with interested members to determine the annual legislative priorities and carry out strategies to meet 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.
In summary, the Advocacy Team, provides the following services and benefits to the APCA membership:
Legislative and Regulatory Surveillance
Policy News Service
Grassroots Coordination and Training
Defense of Medicaid and safety net programs at state and federal level
Health Policy & Advocacy Committee
Policy & Advocacy Committee
Chair – Charlene Tautfest – Peninsula Community Health Services Board of Directors
The Policy & Advocacy Committee meets on the first Friday of every month. The Committee is made up of Health Center staff, board members, partner organizations, volunteers, and individuals interested in Community Health Center Policy. 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.
How Can I Become Involved?
If you are interested in joining our monthly meetings, please contact Jon Zasada, Policy Integration Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.