249971 EPolicyWorks Health Care - Changing the Paradigm: A Platform for Participatory Policy Making

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:10 AM

Michael Reardon, Masters in Public Policy & Juris Doctor from Ohio State University , Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC
Over the past several years, various legislative efforts have reinforced the importance of citizen involvement in the public policymaking process. They have also shed light on the changing nature of how citizens interact with their government. This transformation is perhaps best illustrated by the robust and ongoing debate on health care reform.

The U.S. Department of Labor's ePolicyWorks Health Care represents a forward-thinking response to this significant shift in citizen-government communication. A collaborative initiative among key federal partners, national experts and stakeholders, ePolicyWorks harnesses the power of interactive technology to shape policy and tackle a specific complex, multi-faceted problem—in this case, health care as a barrier to employment for people with disabilities.

The centerpiece of ePolicyWorks Health Care is an online collaborative workspace where partners can learn, share, and exchange information and ideas about this important public policy issue. This platform incorporates many Web 2.0 features, including online workgroups and discussion forums, that facilitate dialogue, strengthen understanding, and encourage stakeholder engagement in promoting positive, lasting change that reflects a more open government and America's ideal of opportunity for all.

With federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, joining the ePolicyWorks Health Care workspace, national policy makers are demonstrating how the use of technology can be leveraged to create tools to help agencies develop policy in more effective, efficient and informed ways.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
• Describe and demonstrate the ePolicyWorks Health Care collaborative workspace; • Explain how Web-based technologies, such as Microsoft® SharePoint, can help overcome organizational challenges, encourage creative thinking, create communities and improve communication around public policy; • Define the challenges and lessons learned associated with creating an online workspace to engage national stakeholders and federal partners about key policy issues; and • Demonstrate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ practical use of the workspace to facilitate interagency participation and collaboration on the Community Living Initiative.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michael Reardon is a Supervisory Policy Advisor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor. He directs ODEP’s Employment Supports Policy Team, which addresses a wide range of issues affecting the employment of people with disabilities, including transportation, housing, assistive technology, personal assistance and health care. A frequent presenter at conferences, seminars and other events on behalf of the agency, Mr. Reardon has also presented at APHA in the past. He previously served as the Disability Program Manager for the Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights and as a Policy Advisor for the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. He came to Washington, DC from Columbus, OH where he was Director of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Alliance, a state-level advocacy organization for people with disabilities. He has a Masters in Public Policy from Ohio State University where he also attended law school.
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.