OPHA 2024 Policy Agenda

Promoting public health through education, practice, and advocacy is central to OPHA’s mission. OPHA’s goal in developing our 2024 Public Policy Agenda is to call attention to and influence legislation and policies affecting ongoing public health concerns in Oklahoma. Please find OPHA's 8 policy topic areas and respective subtopics and action items below. OPHA's fullest policy agenda includes example policies and programs and is linked on the right.

This agenda was developed through a multi-phase process of brainstorming and prioritization with OPHA members, organizational partners, and the OPHA Public Policy Committee; consolidation, refinement, and finalization of a draft agenda with the OPHA Public Policy Committee; and final review and approval by the OPHA Board. OPHA’s 22024 Public Policy Agenda was presented to, reviewed, and approved by the OPHA Board on 12/6/2023. Any changes proposed by the Public Policy Committee after initial approval will receive additional review and approval by the OPHA Board.

Child Health

This topic area includes promoting the physical and mental health, wellbeing, and safety of children, including the following subtopics:

    • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
    • Protective and Compensatory Childhood Experiences (PACEs)
    • Anti-bullying
    • Comprehensive sexual health education
    • Child care
    • Book bans
    • Social emotional learning
    • Physical activity
    • Childhood vaccination
    • Trauma-informed policies, practices, and trainings

And action items including:

    • Supporting Handle With Care

Food & Nutrition

This topic area includes championing policies that increase food security, including the following subtopics:

    • Nutrition education and food literacy
    • State sales tax on healthy foods
    • Food access for older adults and people with disabilities
    • Funding school meals
    • Rural versus urban food nutrition and access
    • Food and nutrition programming and workgroups
    • Local food infrastructure
And action items including:
    • Supporting the state health improvement plan (SHIP)
    • Supporting Food is Medicine policy and practices
    • Joining Hunger Free Oklahoma coalition

Health Infrastructure

This topic area includes supporting funding and policy necessary to develop strategies to strengthen the state health workforce and social determinants/drivers of health, including the following subtopics:

    • Rural provider coverage
    • Safe greenspaces and active infrastructure
    • Fair and affordable housing practices
    • Affordable prescriptions
    • Environmental and climate-related health
    • Diversity, equity, and inclusion education and training
    • Civic engagement and voting
    • Health literacy
    • Broadband infrastructure and adoption
    • Public health and health care workforce
And action items including:
    • Supporting CHW coalitions and advocacy efforts
    • Supporting interagency and interorganizational efforts and alignment

Healthy Populations

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

    • Lower income communities 
    • Older adults
    • People with disabilities
    • Refugees
    • Victims of sexual and domestic violence
    • Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated communities
    • LGBTQIA2S+ community
    • Racial and ethnic minorities

Maternal & Reproductive Health

This topic area includes improving access to maternal and reproductive care with focus areas including:

    • Breastfeeding/chestfeeding
    • Paid family leave
    • Midwifery and doula services and certifications
    • Reproductive and family planning
    • Preventative and emergency contraception
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • Menstrual products
    • Preconception, pregnancy, and post-pregnancy substance use

And action items including:

    • Supporting accurate health education on reproductive health

    OPHA's Advocacy & Resources

    Oklahoma's Legislative Process

    Engage in Policy & Advocacy!

    OPHA members and other individuals interested in public health advocacy can stay informed about legislative issues that may impact public health by getting involved with the OPHA Public Policy Committee, exploring the advocacy pages on our website, and keeping and eye out for updates through our newsletters and social media. Please contact OPHA's Policy Director with any questions.

    Mental & Behavioral Health

    This topic area includes preventing and mitigating adverse mental and behavioral health outcomes and substance use/misuse, including the following subtopics: 

    • 988 crisis response phone number education
    • Trauma-informed policies, practices, and trainings
    • Affordable counseling and therapy
    • Mental health parity
    • Take-back infrastructure for medical sharps and medications
    • Alcohol misuse
    • Opioid misuse
    • Harm reduction programming, access, and education

    Public Health Authority

    This priority area includes protecting and promoting the field of public health’s legal ability to further population health by using tools such as community engagement, data collection, scientific research, laws and regulations, enforcement, and the many methods of sharing information and guidance with those who need it most in Oklahoma, including the following subtopics:

    • Infectious disease outbreaks
    • Vaccination
    • Public health preemption
    • Public health coalitions
    • Unified messaging

      And action items including:

        • Aligning with traditional and nontraditional public health organizations and efforts

      Tobacco & Marijuana

      This priority area includes mitigating tobacco and marijuana industry influences in Oklahoma state laws, including the following focus areas:

      • Tobacco and nicotine
      • Vaping
      • Cannabis (marijuana)

      And action items including:

      • Sharing education on the origin and harms of tobacco preemption in Oklahoma
      • Highlighting tobacco industry racketeering, court-ordered corrective statements, and the need for corrective action by the Oklahoma State Legislature

      Oklahoma Public Health Association
      121 NE 52nd Street, Ste. 260
      Oklahoma City, OK 73105