Advocacy for Health

Sheldon Weisgrau, Director, Health Reform Resource Project
David Jordan, Director, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas

Presentation slides: Advocacy for Health [pdf]

This session discussed building an advocacy campaign around a health issue. The example of the campaign to expand the Medicaid program in Kansas (KanCare) was used to emphasize the points raised.

Sheldon Weisgrau is the director of the Health Reform Resource Project, an initiative to provide technical assistance and education on health reform in Kansas. Sheldon has more than 30 years of experience in health policy. He has worked effectively in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to ensure the delivery of health care services in rural and underserved communities and to enhance the knowledge and engagement of health care consumers, providers, and policymakers. Sheldon earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

David Jordan is the executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a coalition of over 100 organizations working to improve health and access to health care in Kansas. David oversees the Alliance’s operations and the effort to expand KanCare, Kansas’ Medicaid program.

David joined the Alliance after spending nearly seven years at Community Catalyst, a leading national consumer health advocacy organization, as the Dental Access Project Director. At Community Catalyst, David led a national campaign to expand access to dental care by initiating and supporting state campaigns to establish the practice of dental therapists. David oversaw the project’s political strategy, state field operations and strategic and operational relations with collaborating partners. During his tenure leading the national effort to add dental therapists to the dental team, David oversaw efforts that resulted in dental therapy being recognized by the dental industry’s accrediting body, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and scope of practice laws changed to add dental therapists to the dental team in Vermont.

Prior to joining Community Catalyst, David served as chief of staff to a Massachusetts state senator and led integrated communications campaigns at Solomon McCown & Company. He also managed the successful MassACT! ballot campaign, which led in part to Massachusetts’ landmark 2006 health care law.

David lives with his wife Suzanne and their son, Samuel, in Lawrence, Kansas. David is a graduate of Emerson College.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the framework of building and carrying out an advocacy campaign.
  2. Participants will have the necessary tools to knowledgably and meaningfully participate in the effort to expand KanCare.