Pre-Conference Workshop B

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Advocacy for Injury and Violence Research: Strategies and Tactics


Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN
Consultant, Public Health and Policy;
Adjunct Professor, Rollins School of Public Health
Emory University

Linda C. Degutis serves as Executive Director of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s Defense Health Horizons; Chief Science Officer for The Avielle foundation, and Adjunct Professor at the Rolllins School of Public Health, Emory University. Previously, Dr. Degutis was Director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC, and was on the faculty of the Yale University Department of Emergency Medicine, and the Department of Environmental Health at the School of Public Health, where she was Director of the Research Division in Emergency Medicine, and Director of the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness. She served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow in the office of the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN). She has held multiple leadership roles in state and national organizations; is Past President of the American Public Health Association; and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Her research has focused on substance abuse prevention, SBIRT, alcohol policy, and injury and violence prevention.

  • Susan Scavo Gallagher, MPH
    Assistant Professor and Director, MS Program in Health Communications
    Tufts University
  • Christen Rexing, PhD, MPH
    Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services, Administration and Policy
    Temple University College of Public Health

Corinne Peek-Asa, MPH, PhD
Associate Dean for Research
University of Iowa College of Public Health

Corinne Peek-Asa is the Associate Dean for Research of the University of Iowa, College of Public Health and Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health. She is the Director of the CDC-funded Injury Prevention Research Center and Directs the NIH-funded University of Iowa International Trauma and Violence Research Training program. Dr. Peek-Asa teaches a course in public health policy, and her work has included policy evaluation, advocacy training, and development of policy-related educational materials. 

Attendee Prerequisites:

This is an intermediate level course that requires some knowledge of the field of injury and violence research, a desire for research to have an impact on policy, and interest in learning advocacy approaches to influence policy.

Course Goals:

  • To develop a cadre of injury and violence researchers who have the skills to advocate for funding and programs that support injury and violence research, research training, and the growth of the injury and violence research field.
  • To build the skills of researchers and practitioners with respect to advocacy so that they can be effective in advocating for injury and violence policy.

Learning Outcomes:

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of the researcher in advocating for injury and violence research support, and how the researcher can impact advocacy on the part of his/her institution;
  • Explain in plain language the rationale behind increasing funding for injury and violence research and training;
  • Translate research data into a useful format for policymakers
  • Understand and develop tools, such as Policy Briefs, that researchers can use to advocate for the field of injury and violence prevention and related policies
  • Describe the potential roadblocks to increasing support and potential ways to overcome them;
  • Describe the key components of an advocacy strategy that can be applied at the local, state or national level;
  • Discuss ways to use real world examples to illustrate data that are used to present arguments for support;
  • Understand the opportunities and methods for educating policymakers about the importance of support for injury and violence research;
  • Understand how to identify and engage partners in advocacy efforts.

Course Description:

Policy is a critical component in reducing the burden of injury and violence, yet few opportunities to learn about the advocacy process exist. With the expertise of the SAVIR Policy and Advocacy Committee, this workshop will teach participants about the advocacy process and use active learning to develop policy tools, such as a short pitch and a Policy Brief. In order to ensure that injury and violence research is adequately funded, we need a committed group of advocates who understand the importance of the research, its impact, and the methods and strategies that can be used for advocating for funding and other support (infrastructure, etc.). At present, despite the high burden of injury with respect to morbidity and mortality, injury and violence research is grossly underfunded and receives little attention from federal agencies. The current climate is such that there is potential for further cuts to any area of research funding, and for a field that already has minimal funding, cuts would be devastating. If we are to grow the field and encourage new researchers to enter the field, we need to ensure adequate funding for their work. To do this, we need to teach people the skills and strategies that will aid them in being effective advocates for injury and violence research and policy.

This workshop will be interactive and include lecture, discussion, tool development, and role-playing exercises and will build on the following topics:

  1. The Federal budget and appropriations - how funding is determined and allocated.
  2. Policymakers – learning where they stand and meeting them there (starting dialogue based on their understanding and beliefs about injury and violence, and what is important to them).
  3. Advocacy – the researcher’s role in advocacy and education of policymakers; talking to policymakers and staff (what to ask for, and how to ask); using data for advocacy; the importance of linking narrative to data to personalize advocacy.
  4. Developing your advocacy strategy – Written materials, with a focus on developing a Policy Brief, and Oral presentations and discussions, with a focus on a short pitch

The workshop will be organized so that it will provide opportunities for participants to tailor advocacy tools to their specific areas of research, with guidance from the workshop faculty.

  1. Introduction – appropriations; Federal, state and local funding (didactic and discussion)
  2. Communicating your message in writing – (practice and critique)
    • How, when and why to write a policy brief
    • Summarizing your message in a one-pager
  3. Communicating your message verbally – (practice and critique)
    • Preparing and delivering a 2-minute elevator speech
    • Preparing for a face-to-face meeting with staff and legislators
  4. Disseminating your policy brief (discussion)
    • Discussing tips and techniques for disseminating your policy brief
    • Exploring venues (local, state, and federal) for information dissemination
Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research


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