Advocacy

A voice for our vision

To realize our mission – to facilitate better health through behavioral change – SBM’s advocacy efforts are rigorous and relentless.

We are dedicated to advancing evidence-based health policies and ensuring the adequate provision of research dollars – an increasingly vital part of our work as budgets tighten everywhere.

SBM's Health Policy Ambassadors build relationships with federal lawmakers and their staffs, engaging them to make evidence-based decisions regarding specific policies. Our Health Policy Ambassadors help SBM—and our members’ evidence-based science—move from being a visitor in lawmakers’ offices to being an integral part of lawmakers’ decision-making through regular contact and relationship building. Ambassadors are experts on a specific issue and/or live in the relevant policymaker’s district. Ambassadors educate lawmakers about the relevant scientific evidence and the field of behavioral medicine. Likewise, lawmakers educate ambassadors about their needs on specific issues and the policymaking process.

SBM releases member-written health policy statements and signs on to policy position statements and letters from like-minded organizations. Recent position statements have highlighted the importance of cancer screenings and healthy school food options, and one called for increased regulation of e-cigarettes.

SBM

Policy Priorities

Our Child Nutrition Ambassadors educate lawmakers about evidence-based ways to ensure children from all income levels have access to and actually eat healthy foods.

Example policy outcomes:

  • Maintain and strengthen healthy school meal standards (e.g., Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act)
  • Protect or increase funding for programs such as SNAP and WIC

Our Climate Change and Health Ambassadors educate lawmakers about evidence-based behavioral ways to mitigate climate change and its adverse effects on health, particularly for vulnerable populations.

Example policy outcomes:

  • Increase federal funding for climate, health, and behavioral research
  • Increase funding and incentives for active transportation infrastructure (e.g., bike lanes) that benefits both health and the climate

Our Non-pharmacological Pain Management/Opioid Misuse Ambassadors educate lawmakers about evidence-based ways to best manage pain and combat opioid misuse.

Example policy outcomes:

  • Increase ACA reimbursement for evidence-based behavioral interventions, such as behavioral counseling, for patients with chronic pain and/or opioid use disorders
  • Increase Medicare coverage for Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid use disorders and ensure behavioral components are an essential component of this treatment

Our Rural Health Ambassadors educate lawmakers about the unique healthcare needs of rural populations and evidence-based strategies to improve their health outcomes and quality of life.

Example policy outcome:

  • Improve access to telemedicine care (e.g., improve reimbursement and increase broadband coverage)