UCLA Public Health Training Program on Population Health Advocacy

Training and inspiring students to lead the way to systemic changes that will improve the public’s health.

students standing outside next to one another

Creating Change

The Public Health Training Program on Population Health Advocacy (Advocacy Program) trains and inspires UCLA Fielding School of Public Health students to lead the way to systemic changes that will improve the public’s health while also helping to build the capacity of Los Angeles County to engage in public health advocacy. Recognizing that embedding advocacy into public health practice, research, programs, and interventions serves as a long-term investment for the public’s health, the Advocacy Program was established in 2015.

Big Impact

Since launching the Advocacy Program, 71 advocacy fellows have contributed more than 42,000 hours towards public health advocacy efforts in collaboration with 38 organizations. Fellows have increased the capacity of organizations to create change. Community partners report that fellows are increasing organizational capacity, broadening their perspectives of advocacy, prompting advocacy to be incorporated into programs, and making an impact that will have a lasting effect on the community. 

Individualized Approach

The Advocacy Program goes beyond providing academic training to students, grounding them in the heart of public health advocacy and exposing them to real world issues. The program works closely with each student to develop skills relevant for their own academic and career paths. Through partnerships with local community-based organizations, public health advocacy fellows work on advocacy projects that focus on health equity. Projects aim to address social determinants of health and health disparities, and cover a diverse range of topics effecting under-resourced, high need areas of Los Angeles, including violence prevention, public safety, mental health, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, land use, environmental justice, reproductive health, emergency food systems, nutrition, healthcare, housing, incarceration, and poverty.

Fellows’ advocacy projects include:

  • Evaluating advocacy programs and strategies and providing recommendations
  • Developing advocacy curricula and educational materials
  • Developing and conducting surveys to address legislative and institutional policies
  • Analyzing and presenting data
  • Mobilizing and engaging communities
  • Meeting with elected officials and collaborating with government agencies
  • Drafting policy recommendations, reports, and needs assessments
  • Designing and contributing to communication strategies
  • Identifying and applying for funding to sustain advocacy efforts
  • Conducting health impact assessments

Advocacy Programming

Advocacy programming is designed to broaden the scope of advocacy exposure and skill development both for fellows and the UCLA Fielding community at large. These learning opportunities are provided through workshops and structured peer-to-peer learning. Workshops broaden exposure to advocacy topics, reinforce skills learned in the field, and introduce new concepts. Peer-to-peer learning opportunities provide support to students, build team cohesion, and develop leadership skills. 

Get Engaged

Read more about our program.

Watch an Advocacy Fellow tell his story.

Watch 2017 Advocacy Fellows describe what public health advocacy means to them and their experiences with the program.

Connect with us to learn more about the program and for updates on the application process. 

This program would not be possible without the generous support of The California Endowment, the Max Factor Family Foundation, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.