Happy Monday! I want to thank all of you that acted so quickly on the Action Alert regarding the attack on Smoke Free Illinois. Within 30 minutes, roughly two-thirds of Illinois’ geographic area had responded by e-mailing their Representatives to oppose HB 5029. The power of Voter Voice was absolutely remarkable and it was our first real test using the alert. If you have not registered in Voter Voice, I urge you to take advantage of this program to stay in touch with our advocacy campaigns.
Last Thursday I spent the morning with representatives from Benedictine University discussing new opportunities for collaboration and member benefits that will hopefully be available soon. Additionally, I want to make you aware of an opportunity that is available to local health departments. Georgeen Polyak is working on a grant from the RWJF and the goal of this project is to evaluate strategies that could support adoption of a uniform nationwide chart of accounts by local public health agencies. Participating local health departments would be expected to: review the uniform COA developed by the study team, assist in developing a crosswalk from existing chart of accounts used at the local level compared to the COA developed, complete a separate cost survey to validate the work and provide feedback on the crosswalk process and the data collected. Participating local health departments will be compensated $15,000 for this task. If you are interested, let me know and I will get you in touch with Georgeen.
IPHA offices are again the staging site for the Springfield Memorial Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The Memorial Chapter is an IPHA affiliate and we are so happy to host the race volunteers and get a chance to meet many of the participants. If you feel like joining us for the race, please contact Jennifer Hopper at our IPHA office or at her e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . It is a great cause and we are proud of the affiliation.
Legislative Action Day is April 20th in Springfield with a reception from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Statehouse Inn, 101 East Adams. Now more than ever, your voice needs to be raised in support of public health across the state. Please join the four leading public health associations for this advocacy action day. Let’s raise the roof on the State Capitol that day for public health!
I also want to take this opportunity to ask you to support the IPHA 75th Annual Meeting in Springfield on September 14 - 15. The committees are working to make this a great event that is educational, collaborative and a meaningful experience. One item that I have asked for from the planning groups is that we make this affordable and relevant to front-line staff. I think we are getting there.
Additionally, I am asking for your financial support for the IPHA scholarship fund. With MAP grants in sad shape, students across Illinois are finding it harder and harder to pay for college and the associated expenses. We need your support to make sure that we can assist the next generation of public health leaders. Please look on the IPHA website and support the scholarship fund, which is tax deductible. It will be greatly appreciated.
Have a great week! Tom