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Ongoing Priorities

To continue to realize the power of communication and advocacy, we will focus on the following efforts:  

  • Faculty meeting with the police department.
    Building on the infrastructure we have created to communicate the value of public health at home and around the world, to inform the public, and to engage target audiences.  
    • Optimizing and enhancing our redesigned flagship website to allow us to build on our strategy as we work to keep our record number of subscribers and followers interested, informed, and activated on pressing public health issues.  
    • Covering other high-priority issues, as we did with COVID-19, including emerging issues stemming from COVID-19; epidemics such as gun violence and opioid overdose; climate change; investment in public health infrastructure; preparing for and preventing the next pandemic; and pursuing health equity.  
    • Showcasing the importance of public health leadership and training and continuing to pursue marketing efforts that attract the next generation of public health leaders, with particular attention to investing in low- and middle-income countries.  
    • Expanding efforts to build capacity and skills internally and to coordinate strategy with communications associates across all of our School’s departments, centers, and institutes.  
    • Integrating our IDARE commitment into content features and marketing campaigns, with the goal of communicating our values and attracting a diverse community.  
  • Executing on the Lerner Center for Public Health Advocacy’s five-year plan with a focus on:  
    • Developing the nation’s first comprehensive public health advocacy training program that will boost the field and train the next generation to be proficient in advocacy and strategic communications.  
    • Launching the Lerner-supported Alfred Sommer and Michael Klag Advocacy Prize and Awards, which will be used to elevate faculty advocacy accomplishments and to support and encourage faculty to engage in advocacy. These high-profile awards will be designed to raise the visibility of advocacy as an essential area of public health practice and reward exceptional advocacy practice as an important metric for academic promotion and growth.  
    • Transforming the existing Helaine and Sidney Lerner Professorship into a Professor of the Practice in Media Advocacy and Communication and recruiting the inaugural holder of the professorship. 
    • Establishing two to three partnerships with evidence-driven advocacy organizations to support and engage on issue campaigns. Collaborations will be designed to achieve significant policy impact while providing cross-training opportunities through practicums, internships, shared postdoctoral positions, adjunct faculty, and senior fellowships for our faculty to enhance frontline advocacy experience.  
    • Establishing the Lerner Advocacy Innovation Fund to sow and incentivize a culture of advocacy in the School, with a particular focus on supporting early career faculty in these efforts.  
    • Developing white papers and continuing to work with partner organizations to advocate for the greatest needs of the public health community over the next year.  
  • Increasing opportunities for faculty and students to interact with policymakers at the local, state, federal, and international levels. In collaboration with the University and its new campus at 555 Penn, we will develop expanded programming opportunities in Washington, D.C., such as sponsoring congressional briefings on selected health-related topics.