Global health spending represents less than 1% of the US federal budget. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation.
What’s the Global Health Week of Action?
During National Actions, students and residents across the US coordinate their advocacy efforts to increase their impact. Every spring, the Global Health Week of Action focuses on an urgent health issue that transcends national boundaries. Join us this May 1-7, 2011 to protect federal funding for crucial health programs and research. Interested in creating your own campaign? At the bottom of this post, there are links to new resources to customize your Global Health Week of Action.
The threat to essential global health programs and research
The struggle over the federal budget this year is far from over. As we’ve seen over the past few months, international affairs has been targeted for spending cuts – despite being less than 1% of the overall budget, and despite huge returns on investment (pdf). For background, see previous posts on January 28, February 15, and April 15.
Soon, your Senators and Representatives will decide on the federal budget for the coming year, FY2012. For this year’s annual PHR Global Health Week of Action (May 1-7, 2011), let’s make sure that Congress knows that health professionals see that global health funding is critical – to protect the right to health, to advance international development and security, and to avoid needless suffering and death.
Recruit health leaders to join the campaign
PHR is launching an elite sign on letter that will be addressed to each member of the Senate and the House of Representatives, asking for their advocacy in Congress for a continued robust U.S. response to global health. This letter is a collaborative effort with IDSA’s Center for Global Health Policy, Partners in Health, the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), Health GAP, and Physicians for Human Rights.
Letter to Congress: Support global health funding
Please ask the leadership and health professionals at your schools and hospitals to agree to add their name to the letter above. Senators and representatives are interested in the opinions of thought-leaders, like your school’s deans and professors, the head of your hospital’s department, and doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Recruiting these leaders to participate is an effective way to influence Congressional representatives.
Share this letter with leading health professionals on your campus or in your community. The more deans, professors, nurses, public health researchers and practitioners, and doctors who participate, the better. To sign onto the letter, please click here and enter your name, title, affiliation, and city. The deadline for signing on is Sunday, May 8th at 9 pm EST.
You might use this script when asking people to join the campaign:
Global health spending is in jeopardy for the FY 2012 federal budget. Cuts in global health support would have dramatic and long-term consequences, and would do almost nothing to balance the budget. I would like to invite you to join us in sending a letter to Congress.
Please consider adding your name to this letter, which is a collaborative effort with IDSA’s Center for Global Health Policy, Partners in Health, the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). PHR will present these letters to our state’s members of congress to demonstrate that leaders in health support lifesaving and cost-effective global health programs. Please help show our senators and representatives that health professionals who live and work in the state they represent value U.S. leadership in global health.
You might ask for a face-to-face meeting to request that they sign on to the letter. If they agree to meet, be well-informed and prepared to make your case. Here’s a series of posts on this issue in this blog. Laurie Garret’s now-classic “The Challenge of Global Health” (pdf) and this analysis of the sources and uses of global health funding offer useful context. Your target may also be persuaded by an email or a phone call. Either way, respect their time: being able to succinctly state your case is an important skill in advocacy.
When they agree to sign on, please add their information to this form.
If they’re enthusiastic, ask them to share the letter and the link to the form with other leaders.
PHR will compile the names of the leaders who you recruit to sign on to the letter. We will deliver the letters to your members of Congress. If you’d like to join us, please let us know! You can track the status of US funding for key global health accounts to be sure your information is up-to-date.
Ready to do more? Other options for your Global Health Week of Action.
To educate your campus or community, refer to the PHR Student Chapter Toolkit for detailed information about how to plan and lead an advocacy campaign, host educational events, and more.
You may choose from these issues and use the PHR Toolkits to lead education and advocacy, or select another issue that you’re passionate about: