M.P.H. students receive grant to educate campus on the value of health advocacy

M.P.H. students receive grant to educate campus on the value of health advocacy
December 2, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

The American Public Health Association (APHA) student assembly has awarded Benedictine University a $500 ACTION (Advocacy on Campuses That Impact Our Nation) grant for its “Health Advocacy and You!” event during National Public Health Week April 7-13, 2010. Benedictine’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Student Advisory Panel submitted a proposal to the APHA student assembly in October seeking funding for the five-day advocacy event that will focus on the real cost savings and cost avoidance of preventive and early intervention services at the individual and community levels. “The debate about health care reform has increased the importance of having one’s voice heard through advocacy,” said Georgeen Polyak, Ph.D., associate professor and M.P.H. program director at Benedictine University. “This event will seek to educate students and staff at Benedictine about the value of advocacy, how to be heard and which health care issues to advocate for.” The three-pronged educational program will include electronic media, print media and an information booth set up in a high traffic area on the Benedictine campus. Daily e-mails will be sent out to faculty, staff and students with suggestions for advocacy, prevention tips and facts about cost savings. Articles highlighting the importance of advocacy and preventive care will be published in the campus newspaper, The Candor, and distributed via handouts. The information booth will be manned by an M.P.H. student and a volunteer from a local non-profit. The M.P.H. Student Advisory Panel will seek to measure the impact the five-day program has on advocacy awareness and interest on health care topics among Benedictine students and staff through pre- and post-program surveys. “If successful, the ‘Health Advocacy and You!’ campaign could become a regular staple at Benedictine,” Polyak said.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.