We monitor legislation, coordinate grassroots activity, and urge our lawmakers to ensure the continued sustainability of our local health centers.
What is Advocacy and Why is it Important for Health Centers?
Engaging in advocacy ensures that people are able to have their voices heard in the legislative process. Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to express their views and concerns, access information, and defend their rights. Heavily dependent on federal funding, FQHCs must be active in educating and informing policymakers about the critical role they play in our nation's healthcare system. Through advocacy, we remind our lawmakers that FQHCs are important to the health and wellbeing of our citizens. Not only do they make sense for Louisiana's physical well-being, but they also serve as important economic engines for our local communities.
When engaging in advocacy, it's important to remember that "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu!"
The Policy & Issues Forum is held annually in Washington D.C. It serves as a perfect forum for health center advocates from across the country to gather, exchange ideas, and meet with legislators to discuss issues important to FQHCs. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from government officials, some of our nation's leading healthcare experts, and peers from across the country. Topics typically include the latest state-level trends, emerging regulatory policies and proposals that will affect healthcare delivery and spending, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, workforce, and technology. We strongly encourage you to participate in this event!
LPCA's Annual Legislative Day
Every year, Louisiana's Community Health Centers gather at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge for our Annual Legislative Day. FQHC advocates get the opportunity to meet with their state legislators and emphasize the important role they play in their communities.
LPCA's 2019 Annual Legislative Day will be held April 17, 2019. Stay tuned for more information!
LPCA's Advocacy Branch Committee
LPCA's Advocacy Branch Committee allows patients, FQHC staff, and Board Members the opportunity to convene and strategize around LPCA's legislative activities and grassroots efforts. With their input, LPCA can better focus its efforts on the most effective ways to engage in advocacy. These committee members stand ready to recruit their local health centers when necessary for a call to action or other urgent legislative priority.
Advocacy Branch conference calls take place on the first Tuesday of every month. You are ivited to participate! For call in information, please contact Nakeisha Cleveland at email@example.com.
The Do's and Dont's of Health Center Advocacy
Health centers that are private, nonprofit corporations exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) may engage in legislative advocacy, subject to certain limitations – they are entirely prohibited from participating in any political campaign activity. Those health centers operated by a unit of state or local government, are not subject to the IRS rules applicable to Section 501(c) (3) organizations, but may be subject to limitations imposed by state or local law.
Neither private tax-exempt centers nor public health centers may use federal grant funds to support the costs of legislative advocacy or political campaign activities. Health centers are allowed to engage in various types of public policy advocacy activities without violating federal tax law or the terms of federal grant awards. As is the case with other health center policies, it is the center’s board of directors that has the ultimate responsibility for establishing policy with regard to the health center’s advocacy strategy and for the health center’s compliance with laws and regulations that affect the center’s advocacy activities.
Learn more about the rules governing health center advocacy.