Advocacy Tool Box

Were the last words you said, "That's just not right. There ought to be a law"?

Good. That's how it starts.

You could be right, there probably should be a law. But maybe there is a law, and it isn't being enforced. Or maybe there is a law creating a program, but no money in the budget to make it happen. Or . . . .

For help in figuring out whether there ought to be a law or a different remedy and to get the tools to make it happen, go to our Health Policy Decision Tree.

For a fuller explanation of what's available in this CT Health Policy Project's Advocacy ToolBox, click How to use this Site.

If you're not ready for a full commitment, If you only have 5 minutes.

In "Separated by Velvet Ropes" published 5/25/03 in the Hartford Courant's Northeast magazine, Kevin Rennie describes the culture and frenzy at the end of the legislative session. A former Senator, his description is vivid and accurate.

Who We Are and Why We Did This

The Health Advocacy Toolbox is a project of the Connecticut Health Policy Project, funded with generous support from the Connecticut Health Foundation.

The Connecticut Health Policy Project is a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational organization dedicated to improving access to affordable quality health care for all Connecticut residents. We receive funding from a wide variety of groups including foundations, providers, government, community groups and generous individuals.

The Connecticut Health Foundation is the state's largest independent, non-profit grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the health status of Connecticut residents through systemic change and program innovation. Since its inception in July of 1999, the Foundation has funneled more than $2.7 million of grant funding in three areas: improving the children's mental health delivery system; expanding access to and utilization of oral health services; and reducing racial/ethnic health disparities. In 2002, the Foundation plans to distribute about $4 million in grants.

There are many motivated, potential health care advocates who feel confused about how to really make a difference - where to start. Many feel disaffected and helpless to change policies that aren't really working for people. Many feel that it takes a lot of money and/or time to be effective. Too many believe that systems are extremely complex and only professionals can have an impact. The truth is that average citizens, with minimal time commitments, can be very effective and it doesn't have to cost anything. Policymakers are invariably moved by real stories from real people. All that is needed are the right tools.

This Toolbox is built to give people the skills they need to address the problems they are facing. The Toolbox starts where people generally begin - with a problem that they feel needs addressing. The Advocacy Decision Tree helps you decide which tool will be most effective to get the change you need.

The goal of the Toolbox is skill development that consumers will use to benefit their own issues. You will not find an endorsement of any position or candidate or party or anything else in the Toolbox. We are not creating a grassroots campaign to advocate on our issues. The tools are here for anyone to use anyway they see fit. (Of course, we are health care advocates and we would prefer that this information not be used to make health care less affordable or to reduce quality or access to care - but you wouldn't do that).

We do not collect information on who visits this site. If you choose to provide us with feedback or sign up for more information, we will not share your information with anyone else. We will only send you updates related to the Toolbox and only if you ask to receive them.

It is our hope that the Toolbox provides a realistic framework of information and resources for interested consumers to make your voices heard with the strength that comes from knowledge - drawing back the curtain on what too often appears to be a closed process.

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