262946 Evidence-based policymaking in state health departments: A model practice

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Amy Ramsay, MS , Department of Family and Community Health, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), Arlington, VA
Tahra Johnson, MPH , Family & Community Health, ASTHO, Arlington, VA
Background: Given the growing complexity of public health problems, states are focusing more on integrating evidence-based approaches to program and policy development. Healthy People 2020 recommends evidence-based approaches to educational and community-based programs, but for such programs to prosper, high level state support is needed.

Purpose: This presentation will demonstrate a model process of implementing evidence-based policy at the state level.

Methodology: The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) convened a 2-day state strategy workshop, bringing together five states teams led by a state health official or senior deputy to create evidence-based state policy based on recommendations from The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Guide). Each state team was equipped for the workshop by participating in online training modules about The Guide and evidence-based public health (EBPH). National experts in EBPH served as faculty for the workshop, providing guidance and support to each state in the policy development process. At the conclusion of the workshop, each state created an action plan and implementation steps to enact the new policy upon return to their home state.

Findings: From February-May 2011, each state implemented an action plan to move forward the evidence-based policy decided upon at the workshop. As a result, each state successfully applied the evidence-base by implementing recommendations from The Guide into new or existing state health policies, or by using The Guide's recommendations to support existing policies.

Conclusion: Convening high level state leaders to strategize around the use of the evidence-base serves as an effective model to integrate evidence-based recommendations into health policy.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of evidence-based policymaking. Demonstrate how to convene an effective state strategy workshop. Discuss obstacles to successful evidence-based policymaking in state health departments.

Keywords: Evidence Based Practice, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Sr. Analyst, Evidence-Based Public Health at ASTHO. I support ASTHO's work in Evidence-Based state 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.