AIDPH hosted its annual colloquium “Confronting Inequity Through Oral Health Policy” on January 14 and 15, 2020. This year’s colloquium featured expert speakers from diverse backgrounds to lead the discussion around inequities in public policy and how clinicians, policy makers and leaders can affect change.
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, Director of Salud America! presented Using Digital Advocacy Strategies To Promote Public Health & Equity. Dr. Ramirez outlines Salud America!’s success in using digital tools and social media to promote community participation in the public health conversation.
As public health professionals, we must shift focus from the downstream (individual chronic disease treatment) to upstream (prevention strategies that address social determinants of health and the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and play). This is especially true for Latinos. About one of every three people will be Latino by 2050. Yet this population often faces“upstream” challenges and conditions of poverty, including low income, employment, child care, health care, and less access to stable housing, safe transit, healthy food, places to play than their peers. Latinos then face “downstream” effects. These are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, respiratory conditions, obesity, arthritis, pedestrian fatalities, and more. That is why we at Salud America! (https://salud-america.org/) developed an online network of 250,000+ Latino health-focused parents, community and school leaders, and health care providers. Salud empowers this network toward behavior change and grassroots advocacy through its adaptable multimedia health equity communication structure, which utilizes digital content curation to rapidly create and disseminate digital, video, and other content on its website, email, and social media. Content includes culturally relevant, theory-driven peer model stories and videos on healthy change, news on policy and system changes, etc.; interactive “action packs” to spur community organizations toward big on-the-ground healthy changes; multimedia campaigns to engage people to raise their voice for system change; social media messaging to advance health behaviors on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube; #SaludTues Tweetchats to engage an average of 8 million Twitter users in just 1 hour a week; and the #SaludTalks Podcast, the only podcast focused solely on Latino health equity. We found a strong relationship between the degree of engagement in our communication/content and advocacy actions at four levels (school, local, state, federal).
What do you think? Who else can we engage in our mission to achieve health equity using digital strategies?
Post authored by:
Caitie Skaggs | AIDPH Staff
The American Institute of Dental Public Health