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Members: advocate now on preparedness.

APHA members are urged to advocate on behalf of public health preparedness issues during this month's National Public Health Week observance, April 2-8.

With a theme of "Take the First Step! Preparedness and Public Health Threats: Addressing the Unique Needs of the Nation's Vulnerable Populations," APHA is offering an easy, online way to urge national policy-makers to support legislation that improves preparedness funding and infrastructures. Anyone can take part in the advocacy drive by visiting www.nphw.org, going to the advocacy page and clicking on "action alerts." After submitting their ZIP codes, Web visitors can send letters of support to their legislators in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

There are five action alerts coinciding with each day of National Public Health Week. On Monday, advocates are asked to contact their elected officials on the preparedness needs of mothers with children in their households and to urge policy-makers to support initiatives such as the Safe Communities Act, also known as H.R. 3524, which would distribute grants to state and local governments to shore up community preparedness efforts. On Tuesday, the action alert highlights services at local food banks by advocating support for the "Calling for 2-1-1 Act of 2007," known as S. 211 and H.R. 211, which would facilitate nationwide availability of 2-1-1 telephone services to access information on services such as food shelters and clothing banks.

Wednesday spotlights the preparedness needs of hourly wage workers and their employers via an action alert in support of legislation such as the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvement Act of 2007, H.R. 565 and S. 163, which would create a loan program to aid small businesses in areas recovering from disasters. School preparedness is under the microscope on Thursday with an action alert urging support of funding to local governmental agencies that protect children. Friday's action alert focuses on people living with chronic illnesses and urges support of the Access to Emergency Medical Services Act of 2007, H.R. 882, which would improve access to emergency services for chronically ill populations.

Coinciding with each action alert, five new blog entries--each discussing the five National Public Health Week topics--will be posted daily on APHA's Get Ready for Flu blog, online at http://get readyforflu.blogspot.com. The blog is part of the Association's Get Ready campaign, which helps Americans prepare themselves for pandemic flu and other emerging infectious diseases.

For more on National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org. For information on the week's action alerts, e-mail kate.sweeney@apha.org.
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Title Annotation:APHA ADVOCATES: Recent actions on public health by APHA; American Public Health Association
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:427
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