2022 Policy Agenda – Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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2022 Policy Agenda

Download Our 2022 Policy Agenda Here!

Each year, Health & Medicine’s policy priorities shift to adjust to the most pressing public health equity issues that we feel we are best equipped to address, yet one thing remains constant: our commitment to align these priorities with our core values and mission of health equity through research, education, advocacy, and collaborative action. This year’s policy agenda is informed by our history and current work and continues to build on changes made in 2021 based on the impact of COVID-19 in Illinois and the light this pandemic shed on longstanding health inequities within the state.

Health & Medicine is pleased to share our 2022 Policy Agenda for Health Equity in Illinois. Policy change plays an essential role in advancing health equity in Illinois. This agenda lays out Health & Medicine’s top priorities for policy change in 2022. We are committed to standing up for social justice and human rights, promoting health justice via policy change in aging and long-term care, health reform, health workforce, public health equity, and trauma-informed care and systems. Central to reducing and eliminating health inequities is speaking and acting up for human rights and against systems of oppression.

Aging and Long-Term Care 

  • Advance legislation to establish a commission to develop a strategic action plan for aging equity in Illinois 
  • Promote strategies, such as appropriate staffing and quality improvement, to support older adults living in congregate settings and to respond to COVID-19 health inequities in such settings 

Health Reform 

  • Establish proactive regional health system planning for health facilities, the provision of uncompensated care, and sufficient health safety net funding, especially Cook County Health 
  • Advance toward universal health insurance coverage for all, including undocumented immigrants 
  • Promote community birthing options by allowing licensed certified midwives to practice as primary birth attendants, increasing birth center reimbursements, and reducing unnecessary administrative rules 

Health Workforce 

  • Develop an Illinois iteration of the Joint Admission Medical Program, which supports highly qualified and economically disadvantaged students in pursuit of medical education 
  • Establish an Illinois commission to identify policy solutions to address health worker burnout, with a purpose of reducing and eliminating causes of burnout and mitigating its effects 
  • Advance rules and regulations in support of community health worker certification and reimbursement 

Public Health Equity 

  • Seek to attain and sustain sufficient and flexible public funding for public health departments in local and state budgets to grow and maintain a robust public health workforce and system 
  • Support both police abolition and non-police responses to crime, violence, and social problems, as well as the use of harm reduction, such as safe consumption sites and drug decriminalization 
  • Promote healthy, safe, affordable, equitable, and accessible housing policy, including proactive rental inspections, lifting the ban on rent control, and just-cause eviction policies 
  • Support a cumulative impact ordinance, and support use of health equity impact assessments and environmental impact assessments to advance equity and environmental justice 

Trauma-Informed Care and Systems 

  • Encourage both policymakers and state agencies to use and integrate trauma-informed standards for policy development and state agencies to implement trauma-informed training, policies, and practices 
  • Advance statewide funding and support for health organizations, human services, community-based organizations, and schools to become trauma-informed 

For more information or questions about our policy priorities, please contact Margie Schaps, Executive Director: mschaps@hmprg.org and Wesley Epplin, Policy Director: wepplin@hmprg.org.