243424 Employing a Systems Change Framework to Assess Health and Education Policy Advocacy in California: Breaking Down Silos

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Mary Kreger, Dr PH , Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Claire Brindis, DrPH , Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Katherine Sargent, BA , Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background and Purpose: This paper details connections between health and education, including individual and community environmental issues. The environmental issues related to stress in communities and health are detailed as well as capacity building with state-level policymakers and school districts so they better understand these issues. We examine the evidence employed to build capacity with policymakers and successes and challenges of building this capacity during a fiscal crisis.

Significance and Methodology: Framed with social disparities, it is imperative that educational and health policymakers understand that health and achievement are mutually reinforcing. Individual health and healthy environments contribute to better school attendance, learning engagement, and performance. Health, behavioral, and academic problems are multifaceted and interrelated. Health promotes school connectedness, which is a powerful predictor of attendance, performance, and health. This case study of a project to build this framework for state-level policymakers in California occurred over the last three years, during which time the state has faced increasing budget deficits.

Results and Conclusion: Concepts around which to build common terminology, goals, and strategies with policymakers are discussed. Specific items include: a holistic focus on student well-being to improve physical health; increase activities related to positive youth development and resilience; reduce risk behaviors; increase safety; improve mental health; and improve school and community environments. Additionally, specific innovative strategies to provide school programs and their funding are outlined. These include identification of unusual funding sources, targeted braiding of funding, and the building of funding for community schools to provide health and learning supports.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the interconnections between health and education, successes and challenges of statewide and school district policymakers 2. Describe innovative approaches to building health and learning supports into school curricula 3. List ways to fund this type of innovation

Keywords: School Health, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I work on policy projects related to asthma, education, and systems change and have co-written multiple papers and reports on these subjects.
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.