258987 How Communities Putting Prevention to Work fostered policy change in rural West Virginia

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:10 PM - 1:30 PM

Thomas Bias, PhD , Health Research Center, West Virginia University, Tbias@Hsc.Wvu.Edu, WV
Carole V. Harris, PhD , ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Andrew S. Bradlyn, PhD , ICF International, Atlanta, GA
Lucas C. Moore, EdD , Program Evaluation and Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Stephanie S. Frost, PhD , Health Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Jessica Coffman, MA , Health Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Meghan Reeves, MPH , Health Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Carrie Brainard, BS , West Virginia Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, Parkersburg, WV
Introduction: A six county region of West Virginia, known as the Mid-Ohio Valley (MOV), was funded through the CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to address obesity. Efforts targeted policy, systems and environmental change in order to improve physical activity and nutrition environments in the region. Policymakers were one target of the “Change the Future WV” campaign and both media and intervention activities sought to increase the perceived importance of obesity-related issues within this group. These efforts were made in order to reach the long-term goal of enacting policies that support quality physical activity and nutrition environments. Goals and Procedures: Policy changes were reported to the evaluation team through an online progress-monitoring tool by CPPW project coordinators. The WV CPPW evaluation team reviewed, defined, and coded each policy using formal definitions for: 1) geographic reach (e.g. “city level”, “county level”, “multi-county level”) and 2) policy type (e.g. “resolution”, “internal organizational policy”, “ordinance”). In addition, surveys were sent to policymakers in the MOV at baseline and follow-up to determine changes in attitudes related to CPPW issues. Results: Over 70 policy changes have taken place in the MOV since the beginning of CPPW, such as complete streets policies and resolutions to support required physical education in schools. These policies represent a full spectrum of policy types and geographic reach. Change in policymaker attitudes will also be presented and discussed. Discussion: CPPW was a catalyst for policy change in rural WV. Policy change occurred across all levels of government and private organizations.

Learning Areas:
Planning 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. Demonstrate how Communities Putting Prevention to Work created tangible policy changes in the Mid-Ohio Valley. 2. Compare and Contrast between types of policies, geographic reach, and strength of policy changes. 3. Describe how large scale intervention activities like CPPW can influence the attitudes of policymakers.

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Public Health Education and Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator on the evaluation portion of the West Virginia Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant. I have also been the lead data collector and organizer on the policy aspect of this project. I have a PhD in Public Policy and 7 years research experience in public health policy.
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.