LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Caroline Sweeney, a Lock Haven University undergraduate health science major with a concentration in community health, received a scholarship to attend the 14th annual Health Advocacy Summit, March 5-7, in Washington, DC. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Sweeney was one of four students nationwide to be recognized by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) to receive the highly competitive scholarship. The purpose of the summit, sponsored by 11 national health education organizations, is to engage health professionals in advocacy efforts on the national, state and local levels.
During the summit, Sweeney participated in sessions designed to increase advocacy skills. The culminating experience included meeting with legislators and their staff members on current health legislation. She met with legislative staff members from Senator Pat Toomey’s, Representative Tom Marino’s, and Representative Glenn Thompson’s offices. She spoke with the office representatives about the Affordable Care Act, Youth Skills in Classroom and Life Act, and the maintenance of funding for the Division of Adolescent and School Health and National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Sweeney was accompanied on her hill visits by health science faculty members Dr. Kathleen Allison and Dr. Rick Schulze, and alumnus, Derek Cegelka, a doctoral student at the University of Toledo. According to Sweeney, “The Advocacy Summit provided fantastic professional experience. It gave me the confidence to make advocating for health a lifetime commitment.”