Simply put, politics is power. It is the power that influences issues toward political agendas, the power that persuades stakeholders toward favorable solutions, and the power that draws national attention to polarized policies. Politicians have the power, the means, and the position to not only “politicize,” or make an issue political, but to also “politick” to gain power and influence for public health issues.

As a public health professional, what should you know before entering the political arena? How might you apply knowledge of political agendas to assist you in advocating for your issue?

Before attempting to impact policy at the local, state, national, and/or international level, public health professionals must first identify the numerous stakeholders who impact their issue. In addition, taking time to understand how politicians have voted and lobbied for the issue is critical.

In this Discussion, you examine the history of political support for or opposition to the public health issue you have selected for your Scholar-Practitioner Project. You also investigate how stakeholder power has influenced the progress (or lack thereof) of your issue.

To prepare for this Discussion, review Chapter 4 of the course text. Then, consider the role politics has on your public health issue and identify the various stakeholders who have (or are) impacting the issue, conducting further research as needed.

Bhattacharya, D. (2013). Public health policy: Issues, theories, and advocacy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter 4, “The Role of Politics: Players, Processes, and Power” (pp. 99–139)
  • Goldberg, D. S. (2012). Against the very idea of the politicization of public health policy. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 44–49.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Grogan, C. M. (2012). Editor’s note: The hidden strength of prevention politics. Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 37(2), 177–180.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Kamradt-Scott, A. (2013). The politics of medicine and the global governance of pandemic influenza. International Journal of Health Services: Planning, Administration, Evaluation, 43(1), 105–121.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Tarantola, D. (2012). Foreword: Public health, public policy, politics and policing. Harm Reduction Journal, 9(1), 22–23.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • By Day 4, post the stakeholders who have impacted (or are currently impacting) your public health issue and explain the level of impact each has had and why. Then, describe the history of political support of or opposition to your issue. Justify your post with specific examples of stakeholder and political involvement in public health policy and advocacy. Support your post with the Learning Resources and peer-reviewed sources.

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