239944 Policy levers in public health: How policy and law can advance health

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:30 AM

Angela K. McGowan, JD, MPH , Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
Policy and law are tools that play important roles in protecting and improving the health of a community. Communities attempting to act on their County Health Ranking or the Commission to Build a Healthier America's recommendations should also focus on the laws and policies that affect them. By understanding how law can improve health and which policy levers to pull, communities can successfully use policy and law to protect the minds and bodies of their residents.

This session will focus on how legal and policy levers affect communities' health and how existing legal infrastructures may stimulate or impede their population's health. Specifically, this session will: 1. Describe ways in which policy and law advance or encumber community health; 2. Provide examples of legal interventions that affect health behaviors, the physical environment, and other social determinants of health; 3. Describe ethical or social justice issues that arise as a result of the County Health Rankings or Commission to Build a Healthier America; and 4. Explain resources available to communities and their leaders for making policy and environmental changes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how legal and policy levers can influence community health Describe specific examples of legal or policy interventions designed to improve community health

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior program officer responsible for developing initiatives that increase the use of laws to advance health, and I have extensive public health law experience.
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.