State & Community Health Advocacy Program

The State & Community Health Advocacy Program(SCHAP) works in more than 40 states to build community leadership and a strong, organized community voice to shape health policy at the federal, state and local levels. We develop effective state-based advocacy networks and leverage their influence for multi-state and national impact, working intentionally to build community power and advance a broader movement for health equity and justice.  

The State & Community Health Advocacy Programprovides a range of support and services to enhance the capacity of state-based advocates and ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. 

SCHAP believes that those closest to the problem are those who are most equipped to address it. At the same time, SCHAP can offer a perspective gleaned from working with multiple states addressing similar issues, sharing these learnings to identify specific, tailored and timely strategies. Our expertise in state and federal policy, and their intersection, enables us to seize opportunities to identify emerging issues and take action at the level of government where it will make the most difference.  

Community Catalyst provides support and coaching tailored to the unique circumstances of each organization and its state environment. Over the years, we have developed an impressive track record and method for working with state, local and regional partners in more than 40 states to advance health justice. Our work includes not just policy analysis but a range of services to enhance competencies and make advocacy organizations and coalitions sustainable and successful.  

We do this by offering technical assistance leveraging our Systems of Advocacy model: 

  • Strategic planning, organizational development and resource development 

  • Policy analysis and advocacy 

  • Communications 

  • Coalition building and stakeholder alliances 

  • Grassroots organizing 

  • Campaign development 

By amplifying the voices of community members and investing in skill-building, we sustain a learning community of advocates from across the country. Through the Community Catalyst Learning Community, we support advocates as they share best practices, troubleshoot challenges and have the opportunity to address particular issues. We also convene advocates annually to meet in-person to address these common needs. 

Projects based in the State & Community Health Advocacy Program include: 

  • The Appalachian Health Project works with a cohort of state partners across Appalachia to build region wide support for defending and investing in the Medicaid in program by elevating the health care stories and lived experiences of Appalachians and organizing and developing community leaders.   

  • The Community Voices for Medicaid (CVM) Project works with local partners in four states to advance public education about Medicaid and build support for the program in local communities across the country. At its core, this project elevates the voices of those who have been historically and systemically left out of conversations about Medicaid: Latinx and Black people, people living with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, people with disabilities, immigrants, rural communities and those at the intersection of many of these identities. 

  • Community Catalyst supports partners in conducting outreach and enrollment for both the Marketplace and Medicaid. We work with both national partners who are able to directly fund their local partners and local partners directly with a specific emphasis on reaching communities who remain uninsured.This work aims to tie outreach, education and enrollment to organizing and power-building efforts around the country, ensuring that those who have been denied insurance coverage previously are now part of the movement to increase coverage.   

  • The Private Insurance initiative, which identifies opportunities to protect and advance the ACA in state marketplaces, including protecting against short-term plans, addressing issues of balanced billing, and seeking innovative opportunities to secure coverage for undocumented people.  

  • Community Catalyst's Southern Health Partners initiative, established in 2008, comprises a large and growing network of organizations in 13 Southern states working to advance health justice in the region and proactive local, state, regional and national health care reforms. The program produces a regular newsletter lifting up accomplishments and challenges from the south, and aims to partner with funders to help secure resources for the south. 

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