207921 Curricula to teach the current workforce how to shape policy for health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:15 PM

James Emery, MPH , Health Behavior and Health Education, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Carolyn E. Crump, PhD , Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Donna Nichols, MSEd, CHES , Directors of Health Promotion and Education, Washington, DC
Rose Marie Matulionis, MSPH , Directors of Health Promotion and Education, Washington, DC
Introduction: Public health professionals need to enhance their policy skills. This presentation provides an overview of a competency-based curricula on policy change.

Methods: Twenty-one workforce competencies were identified and validated. An advisory committee with federal, state and local government employees advised the curricula team from 2007-2009. Theories, concepts, methods and tools were adapted from several disciplines outside public health: political science, public policy, public administration, urban planning, and sociology. Adult-learning principles guided the development of materials and activities. By mid-February 2009, the team piloted select curricula workshops nine times reaching 250 professionals.

Results: Two curricula levels were developed. Level 1 is a one-day overview of select concepts and tools from the five competency domains. Level 2 presents the sequence of competency domains in five interactive, two-day workshops: 1) problem identification; 2) policy analysis; 3) advocacy; 4) bureaucratic implementation; and 5) evaluation. Level 2 is structured to follow a general policy change process. Two case examples were developed: childhood obesity in a school setting, and secondhand smoke in public settings. An orientation to the curricula will demonstrate how concepts, tools, and case examples reinforce one another and help participants to be more strategic about policy change.

Conclusion: To ensure the workforce can shape policy for health, Level 1 curricula is appropriate for conferences. Level 2 curricula can be delivered in states or municipalities to help teams enhance their policy skills. The curricula address the Essential Service of developing health-supportive policy and provide information relevant to the CHES competency on advocacy.

Learning Objectives:
Describe two levels of a policy-change curricula. Describe five curricula domains and how they relate to stages of a policy-change campaign. Describe how the curricula builds sequentially to enhance skill development.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since 1998 James E. Emery, MPH has been a Research Associate in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Jim’s main professional interest is in improving physical and social environments for healthy living. Currently he is the lead developer of a CDC-funded curricula to help the workforce become competent in changing policies and built environments. He has been the lead facilitator for almost 20 workshops on policy and environmental strategies. He was the lead author of North Carolina’s first statewide plan to address physical activity using policy and environmental strategies. Jim has developed and validated tools and guidebooks for communities to audit the walkability and bikeability of their streets (available for download from: www.unc.edu/~jemery/WABSA). Publication: Emery J, Crump C, & Bors P (2003). Reliability and validity of two instruments designed to assess the walking and bicycling suitability of sidewalks and roads. American Journal of Health Promotion 18(1): 38-46. Jim has provided policy and environmental consultation to AARP’s “Active for Life” campaign. Publication: Emery J, Crump C, & Hawkins M (2007). Formative evaluation of AARP's Active for Life® campaign to improve walking and bicycling environments in two cities. Health Promotion Practice 8(4): 403-14.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.