Policy is one of the most powerful tools public health professionals have to effect positive health changes at a community level.
Krista R. Cardenas, MPH, a senior instructional specialist for the Western Region Public Health Training Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and alumna, is the creator and host of the new podcast Arizona Common Ground (AZCG), an eight episode educational podcast series that will take listeners through the legislative process of how a bill is passed in Arizona.
Listen to the Arizona Common Ground Podcast.
On April 18, 2019, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1089, a Telemedicine bill that requires private insurers to cover the same services provided through telemedicine as they do through in-person care. Cardenas, a recent graduate of the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health with a master’s in public health policy and management, followed SB 1089 throughout the legislative process and turned her internship experience into the Arizona Common Ground podcast.
As an intern, Cardenas shadowed Senator Heather Carter at the Arizona Capitol, to better understand how the legislative system, laws, and processes are carried out. She tracked the Telemedicine bill from stakeholder meetings, language drafting, through the legislature process until it was signed into law.
Dr. Carter is also an assistant professor of practice in the Division of Public Health Practice and Translational Research at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health in Phoenix.
Cardenas took everything she learned and created the podcast to help public health students, health professionals and other citizens interested in health to implement their work at the policy level. The podcasts include personal narratives and case studies from politicians, lobbyists, policy analysts, and public health professors so you can know how to have voice with these legislative issues.
“In my experience, I’ve seen a disconnect between public health practice and policy,” said Cardenas. “I think there’s a crucial need to empower students and professionals to engage in health policy. I developed Arizona Common Ground to help address this need by walking listeners through the structure of a bill process so they can see how they can have their voice heard by a legislature.”
The Arizona Common Ground podcast will be available Wednesday, July 3, through the Western Region Public Health Training Center, as part of its work to provide innovative training to the public health workforce.