VPHA will hold its first advocacy day at the State Capitol in Richmond the morning of Thursday, January 27th. Members will meet with legislators to discuss VPHA’s 2022 policy priorities and to stress the importance of public health in Virginia.
VPHA’s advocacy has already been successful. Earlier this month, our advocacy efforts were successful in urging the Joint Commission on Health Care to study how local public health departments are structured and financed in Virginia. Commission staff will conduct the study in 2022 and recommend reforms to lawmakers ahead of the 2023 General Assembly session.
However, other priorities remain. VPHA urges legislators to consider removing the requirement that directors of local health districts (LHDs) be physicians and instead allow licensed health care practitioners or public health professionals to serve as directors of LHDs.
VPHA also urges the General Assembly to establish a Health Equity Trust Fund. This fund would finance public health interventions not eligible for support through categorical grants and other restricted funding sources.
Finally, VPHA calls on the General Assembly to establish a workgroup to explore how Virginia can leverage CHIP Health Service Initiatives (HSI) to address public health issues that disproportionately affect low-income children. HSIs allow states to draw down federal dollars to support these initiatives. Virginia historically has left these dollars on the table, notwithstanding a recent HSI to support the Commonwealth’s poison control centers.
Check out our “Upcoming Events” page for information on how you can participate in VPHA’s advocacy day!