As part of the UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries’ increased emphasis on advocating for those it serves, CHHSM today announced it will be hiring an Associate for Advocacy and Leadership Development.
The position, to be filled later this year, will guide the advocacy efforts of CHHSM and its members, as well as administer the Nollau Leadership Institute and work with CHHSM’s new Advocacy Task Force. The advocacy associate also will be staff liaison with CHHSM’s international ministry partners, assist in CHHSM’s participation in General Synod, and help plan the Annual Gathering.
At its March gathering, CHHSM’s Program Planning and Evaluation Committee created four broad categories of advocacy focus: social determinants of health; behavioral health; access to care; and self-determination.
“All CHHSM members and their employees have the right and the gift to ‘Be A Voice’ for themselves, their families, their friends, and those they serve,” says Michael J. Readinger, CHHSM president and CEO. “That is what advocacy is all about: to use our voices to promote or reinforce a change in policy, program, or legislation. Advocacy aims at winning support from others by creating a supportive environment.”
As CHHSM’s Advocacy Task Force begins work later this summer, it will examine such core issues as access to healthcare, food insecurity, affordable housing, and services to older adults, persons with disabilities, and children, youth and families. The new advocacy efforts will include maintaining and strengthening CHHSM’s work with interfaith and ecumenical partners as well as such secular advocacy organizations as LeadingAge. CHHSM also will work closely with the UCC’s Washington, D.C., justice and witness office.
The increased focus on advocacy carries on CHHSM’s legacy of advocacy. In 2013, the UCC General Synod passed a CHHSM-sponsored resolution on affordable housing, and in 2017, it approved a resolution recognizing gun violence as a health epidemic. At this year’s General Synod in June, CHHSM’s resolution on the opioid crisis also received overwhelming delegate affirmation.
“This important work will impact the lives of the many voiceless individuals we serve in our ministry settings. We need to join the chorus of organizations who are out there speaking to legislators and administrators on all levels of government,” Readinger adds. “The new advocacy associate will be key in helping CHHSM live into this enhanced role.”
Read the job description and apply for the Associate for Advocacy and Leadership Development.