Best practices for life course approach implementation at the state level: A culture shift
The life course approach considers the broad range of social, economic and environmental factors that impact an individual's health throughout all stages of the lifespan and across population groups. This session will examine the challenges of practical application of the life course approach at the state health department level. During the summer of 2012, the Louisiana Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health (BFH) conducted a literature search and key informant interviews with life course approach experts through partnership with Tulane University. Louisiana staff and authorities in other states in the field of maternal and child health were asked their opinions on the life course approach, to assess how their work fit into the framework and to generate future programming ideas. Lessons learned included best implementation practices through education, programming, annual strategic planning, community involvement, non-traditional partners and sustainability. The act of conducting research in itself led to a cultural shift in the BFH workforce. Employees began to consider the life course approach with greater importance in daily conversations. Thus, strategy sessions and outputs began to emphasize the inclusion of health disparities such as poverty, racism and fatherhood involvement. The translation of life course theory to practice in local and state health departments should include research on programmatic best practices and an educational component to facilitate cultural dialogue between internal teams. Although deliberate planning changes must take place, a cultural shift in the workforce is also necessary for the future success of health administrators in implementing life course.
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Discuss the implementation process of a new approach or philosophy into the public health workforce. Explain the life course approach and the challenges associated with practical application.
Keyword(s): Organizational Change, Health Departments
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Master of Public Health candidate at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I am studying community health and maternal and child health. In addition, I was an intern at the Louisiana Office of Public Health and a Tulane University Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program Scholar.
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.