The MHA collaborated with Wayne State University for the first-ever student-led advocacy day March 22. Science Policy Network-Detroit (SciPol- Detroit) is a student organization at Wayne State that aims to advocate for science-related issues in Detroit. Over 20 undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty with science-based backgrounds visited Lansing to discuss evidence-based ideas for future legislation. SciPol-Detroit members, including doctoral and nursing students, met with lawmakers from their local communities and key health policy committee leadership. Students advocated for legislation surrounding air pollution, lead testing and behavioral health.
MHA and Michigan State Medical Society staff members shared career development opportunities with the students. Staff members emphasized the importance of developing meaningful connections with local lawmakers and associations to kickstart career goals and help shape laws that will impact their profession.
The MHA is working towards establishing a pipeline program with Wayne State University, beginning with the Government Relations and Health Policy Fellowship. The MHA hopes to introduce more students with science-based backgrounds to the realm of health policy. For some students, this event was their first exposure to advocacy.
Members with questions about future advocacy days may contact Sean Sorenson-Abbott at the MHA.