With the help of your colleagues in the health ministry, we are pleased to make available this primer, Building Blocks for Effective Legislative Advocacy. Building Blocks is a tool that will help you create and sustain within your organization a structure for legislative advocacy, familiarize you with the legislative process, and provide insight on how to be most effective in getting your advocacy message to local, state, and federal policymakers.

For many of you this information will serve as a refresher; and for others new to advocacy, the information will be a welcome resource in order to succeed in your daily pursuits. Topics include lobbying "Dos and Don'ts," the importance of relationship building both inside and outside your organization, best methods to communicate with elected officials, and a compendium of resources available for your use.

Bon Secours Health System, Inc., Catholic Health Initiatives, SSM Health Care, and Trinity Health are among those within the Catholic health ministry who should be acknowledged for contributions to this primer. Continued ministry input and sharing is critical to success in advancing the health ministry's advocacy priorities. By utilizing this information in collaboration with other health and social service ministry advocates, together we can make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

Lisa Smith
Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy
The Catholic Health Association of the United States