Why is Advocacy Important?

The North Carolina Public Health Association has led efforts to improve the public's health through advocating for resources and policies to promote a healthy society. In this time of public health challenges and limited budgets, NCPHA is working to ensure the needs of public health are met. NCPHA influences policies and sets priorities on a broad set of issues, including:
  • Children's health
  • Primary care
  • Health disparities
  • Access to care
  • Public health infrastructure
  • Funding for public health programs
  • Environmental health
  • Disease control
  • Tobacco control

NCPHA members and staff work with State Legislators and Members of Congress, regulatory agencies and other public health organizations to ensure that public health is priority in the legislative and policy-making process.

How Can I Influence Policy?

Every citizen can advocate on behalf of public health. Those employed in government should forward messages to their State Legislators and Members of Congress after business hours and use only personal stationary, email addresses, and personal telephone.

To learn more about the structure of the North Carolina General Assembly, how an idea becomes law and directions to the General Assembly building, please go the NC General Assembly Citizen Guide or click here to find your representative.

To follow legislation or to obtain contact information on each legislator, you can also access that information on the main General Assembly website.

To obtain information relative to the US Congress, go to and

If you are interested in writing a letter to an elected official but not sure how to address them?  Check out our Protocol Cheat Sheet.  It includes information on how to address (both in person and in writing) local, state, national, and judicial officials. 


Legislative Priorities for 2023/2024 

As approved by Governing Council on January 12, 2023 


  • SUPPORT legislation that would remove the exemption for state and local government employees from the Social Work Title Protection Law.
    • BACKGROUND:  The SW Title Protection Law created in 2009 stipulates that no one can have the words social worker in their job title without a social work degree unless they work for state or local government.  This exemption was initiated and supported by the NC Department of Social Services Directors and was necessary for the legislation to pass.   
  • ENDORSE legislation that will close the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina and provide access to affordable coverage to the more than 600,000 individuals living in the coverage gap. The appropriate legislation must address four key principles which are: Accessibility, Affordability, Accountability, and Economic Development. Care4Carolina will lead on this issue. 
  • ENDORSE Any proposed legislation on a variety of workplace health issues that would support maternal and child health, including: 
    • Guarantee North Carolina workers the right to pregnancy and lactation accommodations in the workplace;
    • Guarantee North Carolina workers the right to use their sick days to care for a sick loved one, seek preventative care, or deal with the physical, mental, or legal impacts of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
    • Address paid family leave benefit in North Carolina. 
  • ENDORSE any legislation introduced that would improve access to a full range reproductive health care.  
  • ENDORSE legislation that would expand the educational and experience requirements to become a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. 
  • ENDORSE legislation to expand groups of professionals qualified for appointment as medical examiners to include certified medicolegal death investigators, pathologists’ assistants, dentists, and physical therapists; and permit the Chief Medical Examiner to appoint temporary county medical examiners during a state of emergency. This pertains to local/county medical examiners who perform local investigations and external examinations, but do not perform autopsies. 
  • ENDORSE ongoing funding for four positions for measuring exposure to PFAS to inform policymakers on appropriate ways to address contamination and help identify and mitigate impacts on children, pregnant women and disproportionately impacted communities. 
  • ENDORSE funding to establish a water protection team to perform on-site accreditation, reviews and training which will increase support to local health departments. 
  • ENDORSE state funding for continuation of critical COVID-19 services and communicable disease funding at the local level. 
  • ENDORSE funding request to modernize North Carolina vital record system and increase equitable access to vital records. 
  • ENDORSE proposed legislation to amend North Carolina’s youth access law to ensure effective enforcement of the new age restriction for purchasing tobacco products. 
  • ENDORSE a request to appropriate at least $100 million in recurring funding so that every student in every public school in NC has access to breakfast and lunch at no cost to their families. 
  • ENDORSE restoring original legislative funding to the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board in the amount of $1.25 million for the program to be administered, as well as provide quality improvement supports to local health departments to support and enhance public health infrastructure. 
  • ENDORSE state funding to sustain and expand a statewide Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program for blood pressure and high cholesterol management that facilitates partnerships between providers, pharmacists, and patients in communities to follow evidence-based practices to control blood pressure and other related health risk factors.
    • MONITOR any legislation introduced that would limit access to a full range of reproductive health care.  
  • ENDORSE state funding for doula services 
  • ENDORSE legislation that would provide more accessible and affordable mental health services, especially for teens/young adults 
  • OPPOSE legislation that would discriminate against people based on gender, gender identification or sexual preference--Anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ bills 
  • ADMINISTRATIVE:  Monitor North Carolina opioid settlement fund usage 
  • ADOPT the attached resolution declaring fire arm violence a public health crisis 



Support NC Adoption of National Maternal and Infant Risk-Appropriate Level of Care Standards 

  • Department of Public Health and Division of Health Service Regulation should utilize the rule making process to update levels of care
  • NC does not have maternal levels of care; neonatal levels have not been updated in 30 years
  • Would bring NC in alignment with American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines which are evidence-based 

Firearm Violence Resolution (also adopted on January 12, 2023)

NC Association of Local Health Directors Advocacy Agenda 2023

Click here for the Fluoridation Resolution.

Click here for link to the NCPH Environmental Health Section Position Statements.