Here at the New England Alliance for Children Health (NEACH), an initiative of Community Catalyst, we’re excited to announce the release of Insuring New England’s Children: An Advocacy Success Story. This new publication chronicles the New England states’ successes in providing children with high-quality, affordable health coverage.

Interviews with thirty-five individuals from the six New England states who work on children’s health care campaigns revealed that advocates across the region use remarkably similar strategies when working to improve children’s health coverage. NEACH wanted to showcase these collective strategies because we believe they are applicable to other issues and other regions, as is NEACH’s regional model of advocacy. The lessons learned outlined in the document:

  1. Assemble a core group of dedicated advocates
  2. Build a coalition
  3. Collect personal stories and data
  4. Foster champions in state government
  5. Don’t give up
  6. Focus on coverage, not coverage policy
  7. Reap benefits of regional collaboration
Remarkably, even though Insuring New England’s Children was created entirely independently of these two research briefs from Insuring America’s Children: States Leading the Way which were released this past summer (see our blog), the findings discussed in the briefs are very similar to the lessons outlined in our own publication. This suggests that a core set of best practice health advocacy strategies exists and that these strategies can be put into practice anywhere in the country. This is good news for advocates and — most of all — good news for our nation’s children.

—Patrick M. Tigue, Children’s Health Care Coordinator New England Alliance for Children’s Health