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Advocacy

The Sisters of Charity Health System believes that families and communities are stronger when everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.

We lead efforts and collaborate with others to urge elected officials and policymakers at all levels to find solutions to policy questions of importance to our communities. We educate about the importance of faith-based nonprofits to the common good, including discussing the work of grantmaking foundations and the philanthropic sector, including efforts to ameliorate poverty through health and human services and education programs.

We advocate for good implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including increasing coverage and access for many while protecting the dignity of life. We urged lawmakers to work with the hospital and provider communities to ensure strong reimbursement for providers and sound health care delivery system changes. We share the good news about the community benefit of nonprofit hospitals.

We understand that our support applies to all members of our community.

Our Catholic identity allows us to see everyone around us as our brothers and sisters. We aim to protect them and advocate on behalf of all who might feel they do not have a voice. We take into account the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching to highlight our reasons for serving those in need because of our faith.

OUR GOALS

We understand that society is greatly affected locally, state-wide, and federally through elected officials and legislation. We take on issues at all of these levels because we feel a responsibility for our community. Our Advocacy Agenda (Catholic Health Association) details how we will be living out this mission throughout the upcoming year.

CURRENT ISSUES

Food Insecurity

The prevalence of food insecurity is a major social issue in the United States. At the Sisters of Charity Health System, we advocate for those experiencing food insecurity because we know that the health of our community depends on the health of individuals. The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would amend previous legislation regarding the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or SNAP: H.R. 1753: Improving Access in Nutrition Act of 2021

We know that many members of our community face food insecurity. Here is an insight into what people in our community are facing when it comes to food insecurity:
https://www.communitysolutions.com/snap-online-food-purchasing-expands/

Mental Health

Mental and behavioral health are important to our mission. We understand that we need to advocate for those with mental illness, because their health ensures the health of our larger community. There are currently several bills circulating around Congress pertaining to mental illness:

H.R. 586: Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2021 or the STANDUP Act of 2021

H.R. 1205: Improving Mental Health Access from the Emergency Department Act of 2021

H.R. 1324: Effective Suicide Screening and Assessment in the Emergency Department Act of 2021

Race and Ethnicity

Health care in our society can be biased, and oftentimes racial and ethnic minorities suffer from lack of access and lack of trust with health care providers. There are currently some bills circulating around Congress to help address the race gap present in health care:

S. 162: Anti-Racism in Public Health Act of 2021

H.R. 1475: Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act

The Death Penalty

Currently, there are bills circulating both federally and at the state level that would abolish the death penalty. In Ohio, we fully support abolishing the death penalty.

H.R. 97: Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2021

Ohio Senate Bill 103: Abolish the Death Penalty; Revise Juror Challenge Numbers

Read testimony from Sister Marian Durkin, CSA, here

Read testimony from The Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, on behalf of the Catholic Conference of Ohio. Click here.

Find additional resources here: https://otse.org/

Economics

The Ohio state budget is currently in conference committee. The details of the proposed budget can be found below.

Ohio House Bill 110: Creates Appropriations for FY 2022-2023

Read the Catholic Conference of Ohio’s testimony here

Housing and Homeless Population

Affordable Housing
The past year has illustrated how critical housing security is for all Ohioans. Unfortunately, an amendment included in the substitute version of the biennial budget (HB 110) would exacerbate Ohio’s affordable housing shortage by undermining the economic viability of affordable housing developments. This amendment would effectively increase property tax liability on many types of federally assisted housing developments without regard to the fact that these projects generate less rental income, and often cost more to operate, than market-rate housing projects. Read the opposition letter sent to members of the Ohio General Assembly and Governor DeWine.

E-ADVOCACY

You can support the Sisters of Charity Health System’s mission – and our patients, clients, grantees, employees and caregivers – by educating and persuading elected officials and other policymakers about issues affecting people in need and strategies to improve access to care. Access the Legislative Action Center here.

ADVOCACY: DO'S AND DONT'S

Because of our nonprofit mission, we want to offer tips on how to advocate in the right way to ensure we are using our voice in the most effective and respective way. For a more thorough guidebook, click here for a PowerPoint presentation from the health system on advocacy training.

Do

  • Clearly identify yourself and who you are representing every time you reach out, along with who you know is also advocating.
  • Use a variety of mediums, including writing letters or emails, calling and social media.
  • Know the issue you are advocating for, including the number of the bill or bills, and communicate that.
  • Add your personal experience of the issue or legislation at hand.
  • Be concise and make sure to thank legislators and staff for their time. Recognize both sides of the argument and respect opinions that differ from yours.
  • Ask for support from your legislator.
  • Advocate on behalf of an issue.

Don’t

  • Get frustrated if you are only speaking to a staff member rather than a legislator.
  • Overwhelm them with too much information – they are more likely to understand your point if you are concise.
  • Fight with your legislator – remember, you are trying to get their support for your shared community that they represent.
  • Be afraid to say “I don’t know."
  • Forget that it only takes one person to make a difference in a community – use your voice!
  • Advocate on behalf of a specific candidate 

Additional Resources:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/our-government/

https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government#item-211477

https://www.senate.gov/about/glossary.htm

PUBLICATIONS

RESOURCES