The Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship: One of the Health Activist Network's main highlights from 2017 Image
Excitement filled the air at the Health Activist Expo/Jonas Salk Fellowship Finale on Thursday, November 30. With more than 170 attendees, Salk Fellows had the opportunity to talk about problems in health care they are passionate about changing.
The Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship: One of the Health Activist Network's main highlights from 2017 Image 2
Twenty-five individuals from universities and organizations around Pittsburgh, with the exception of one fellow - Joshua Austin - who traveled from West Virginia every week, made up the 2017 Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship.
The Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship: One of the Health Activist Network's main highlights from 2017 Image 3
Margo Wootan, PhD, spoke to the audience about her role in pushing for nutrition labeling at fast food restaurants on October 17 at the Energy Innovation Center.
The Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship: One of the Health Activist Network's main highlights from 2017 Image 4
The Salk Fellows took part in a roundtable discussion with Bruce Vladeck to learn about his work in shaping programs to provide better access to healthcare for vulnerable populations.
The Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship: One of the Health Activist Network's main highlights from 2017 Image 5
Paul Gough, from the Pittsburgh Business Times, spoke to Health Activist Fellow Heather Tomko to learn more about her project, Accessible YOUniverse, focused on increasing accessibility to health care and other services for people living with disabilities.

The Health Activist Expo was the culmination of the 10-week long Salk Health Activist Fellowship that began in mid-September. In August, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation put out a call for applications and received over 50 applicants who pitched their ideas for changing the health landscape. The JHF fellowship team whittled down the pool of applicants and selected 25 extremely passionate individuals, both students and working professionals, representing diverse universities and organizations in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Over the 10-week period, Salk Fellows expanded their activist arsenals with skill-building sessions focused on investigative reporting and storytelling to mobilize stakeholders, being an advocate at work, and developing strategies and tactics to change policy. In addition to these sessions, the Health Activist Network team put together Health Activist Meetups to give fellows the opportunity to interact with invited speakers in a roundtable setting. Following the roundtable discussions, the venue opened up to Health Activist Network members for formal presentations. These meetups featured Margo Wootan, PhD, of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and Bruce Vladeck, former director of the Health Care Financing Administration (now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).


With exposure to local and national health activists, the Salk Fellows began to develop their own health campaigns, which were showcased at the Health Activist Expo at the August Wilson Center on November 30. Amidst the buzzing of live music and hor d’eurves in the room, the Fellows shared their projects and drew in more than 170 attendees with their posters, printed resources, and props. Paul Gough from the Pittsburgh Business Times attended the Expo as well. Check out his piece covering the Fellows and their projects here


For a great summary of the Health Activist Network in 2017, you might want to read Karen Feinstein's Health Affairs Blog article


 

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