Public Health Advocacy

OPHA 2023 Policy Agenda

This agenda was developed through a multi-phase process of brainstorming with OPHA members, consolidating agenda topics and priorities with the Policy Agenda Working Group,  and refining the public policy priorities agenda with the OPHA Public Policy Committee and OPHA Board. The agenda was reviewed and endorsed by the OPHA Executive Board, and any changes proposed by the Public Policy Committee after initial approval will receive additional review and approval by the OPHA Executive Board.

Child Health

This topic area includes preventing and mitigating adverse mental and behavioral health outcomes with focus areas including:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Protective and Compensatory Childhood Experiences (PACEs)
  • Trauma-informed policies and practices
  • Anti-bullying
  • Comprehensive sexual health education
And action items including:
  • Supporting and promoting HOPE Centers
  • Supporting and promoting Handle With Care

Health Infrastructure

This topic area includes supporting funding and policy necessary to develop strategies to strengthen the public health and health care workforce with focus areas including:

  • Rural provider coverage
  • Active transportation infrastructure and safe places (parks, trails, sidewalks, tracks)
  • Implicit bias training for health care workers
  • Fair and affordable housing practices
  • Affordable prescriptions
And action items including:
  • Supporting and boosting CHW coalition and advocacy efforts

Food, Nutrition, & Access

This topic area includes championing policies that decrease food insecurity and food apartheids (food deserts) with focus areas including:

  • Nutrition education and food literacy
  • Local food infrastructure
  • State sales tax on healthy foods
  • Food access for older adults and people with disabilities
  • Veggie Rx Programs in healthcare

And action items including:

  • Joining coalition for Hunger Free Oklahoma
  • Supporting existing efforts for Hunger Free Oklahoma
  • Supporting existing efforts for DoubleUp Bucks
  • Supporting the state obesity plan after release

Healthy Populations

This topic area includes supporting and protecting the health and rights of populations with focus populations including:

  • Lower income communities 
  • Older adults
  • Marginalized and historically excluded communities
  • The LGBTQ+ community and individuals
  • Racial and ethnic minorities including but not limited to
  • Native Health (IHS)
  • the Hispanic Community (South OKC)
  • African Americans (Historic disparities in Tulsa)
  • People with disabilities

Maternal & Reproductive Health

  • This topic area includes improving access to maternal and reproductive care with focus areas including:
  • Midwifery and doula services
  • Midwifery and doctor relations
  • Maternal Medicaid coverage expansion
  • Reproductive health/family planning
  • Emergency contraception and long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)

And action items including:

  • Supporting accurate health education on reproductive health
  • Supporting midwife-led birth centers in Oklahoma
  • Supporting and promoting OSU-Tulsa’s May 6th initiative
  • Tracking legislation on maternal and reproductive health in other states

Mental and Behavioral Health

This topic area includes preventing and mitigating adverse mental and behavioral health outcomes with focus areas including:

  • 9-8-8 crisis response phone number
  • Harm reduction programming
  • Trauma-informed training and practices
  • Mental health parity

And action items including:

  • Supporting the pilot program Team of Champions

    Our Mission

    OPHA's mission is to promote public health improvements through education, practice and advocacy. OPHA members and other individuals interested in public health advocacy can stay informed about legislative issues that may impact public health is by getting involved with the OPHA Public Policy Committee. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates through our newsletter and social media.

    Get Informed!

    Oklahoma Legislation

    Get Involved!

    For more information contact OPHA Public Policy Committee Chair McKenzie Cowlbeck at mckenzie-cowlbeck@ouhsc.edu and/or Co-Chair Mareyba Fawad at f.mareyba@gmail.com.



    Public Health Authority

    This priority area includes protecting and promoting public health authority in Oklahoma with focus areas including:

    • Disease outbreaks including but not limited to
      • Covid-19
      • Monkeypox (and alternative names)
    • Public health coalitions
    • Unified messaging and advocacy

    And action items including:

    • Strengthening relationships with public health authorities and advocates, in and out of Oklahoma
    • Boosting public health authority efforts of other organizations, in and out of Oklahoma

    Tobacco

    This priority area includes mitigating several tobacco industry influences in Oklahoma state laws with focus areas including:

    • Pre-emption repeal
    • Clean air law exemptions
    • Increased cost of retail tobacco licenses
    • Required state excise tax and retail licensing system for vaping products comparable to other tobacco products
    • Youth/young adult tobacco use and vaping
    • Pharmacist prescriptions for nicotine replacement therapy
    • Cannabis education and safe use

    And action items including:

    • Sharing education on pre-emption
    • Highlighting health-damaging tobacco narrative


    1st Regular Session of the 59th Legislature - Spring 2023 Legislative Timeline


    • December 9, 2022 - Deadline to request drafting of bills 
    • January 19, 2023 - Deadline to file House Bills in House and Senate Bills in Senate
    • Mon. February 6 - Governor's State of the State Address and start of the 1st Regular Session of the 59th Legislature
    • Thurs. March 2 - Deadline for House Bills to be voted through House Committees and Senate Bills to be voted through Senate Committees
    • Thurs. March 23 - Deadline for House Bill to be voted through House and Senate Bill to be voted through Senate
    • Thurs. April 13 - Deadline for House Bills to be voted through Senate Committees and Senate Bills to be voted through House Committees
    • Thurs. April 27 - Deadline for House Bill to be voted through Senate and Senate Bill to be voted through House
    • TBA - Deadline to settle language in Conference (dual House and Senate) Committees
    • Fri. May 26 - Sine Die Adjournment, the end of 1st session of 59th legislature
    • Late June (TBA): Deadlines for submission of House and Senate interim study proposals 
    • Mon. February 5, 2024 - Governor's State of the State Address and start of the 2nd Regular Session of the 59th Legislature

    Oklahoma Public Health Association
    121 NE 52nd Street, Ste. 260
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105
    405-605-2099
    opha@opha.net

    The OPHA office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, excluding state holidays.