Exemplary Advocate Cohort
Building an effective and coordinated field of health advocates.
Beginning in 2018, Missouri Foundation for Health endeavored to make a bold change to its advocacy strategy. To center health advocates’ experiences, the Foundation sought insights from (1) evaluation results that highlighted lessons from bellwether interviews, trainings, and surveys conducted during convenings; (2) conversations with Missouri advocates; and (3) discussions with community members, organizational leaders, government representatives, and MFH’s Board of Directors. A consistent theme emerged from these learnings: the need to contribute to the strength of the field of health advocacy in Missouri. The Exemplary Advocate Cohort was launched to address this need.
The goal of this effort is to strengthen the field of health advocates in Missouri at the individual, organizational, and partnership levels. The Foundation initially selected 12 organizations (now at 11) to send two advocates each to join the group and work toward accomplishing this objective.
The Exemplary Advocate Cohort model is designed to transfer leadership to team members so that advocates’ voices and needs are at the center. This six and a half year project is building trust, action, and power – between the Foundation and advocates, between individual advocates, and creating connections between organizations. Together we are moving toward a new vision for the field.
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