142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Developing, implementing and evaluating a non-partisan health policy educational program for state legislators

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Megan A. Weis, DrPH, MPH, MCHES , South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health, Columbia, SC
Health and health care are among the most complex and important issues facing the nation and individual states.  Health issues affect every individual, family and economy in every community.  Elected officials are often required to make decisions on a variety of complex issues that affect health both directly and indirectly, often without the benefit of unbiased information.  The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) developed the Health Policy Fellows Program to provide members of the South Carolina General Assembly with clear, evidence-based health policy information in a non-partisan manner.  The Fellows Program assists elected officials by providing resources and information related to complex health topics.  Program sessions focused on outlining the challenges and opportunities to improve health in South Carolina; improving the return on investment in health systems and financing; and using a practical framework for engaging in open, balanced and effective dialogue.  The program curriculum highlights the social determinants of health and the importance of considering health in all policies   Instructional methodology incorporates discussion and conversation with national speakers, South Carolina experts and panels of practitioners Supplemental reading and videos are provided for deeper discovery following the sessions.

Evaluation results demonstrate a high level of satisfaction with the program and that legislators would recommend the program to their peers.  Feedback also provides opportunities to improve the program to be more effective in subsequent offerings.   The success of this pilot offering, based in part on models from other states, further demonstrates the practical appeal and utility of this type of educational program and the value it holds for informing health policy.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the development process to create an educational health policy program for state legislators. Outline recruitment efforts to ensure bipartisan participation of elected officials in an educational program. Compare the different learning methods employed by the Institute's Health Policy Fellows Program. Discuss how evaluation results may be applied for improving health policy programs for state legislators.

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Professional Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Megan Weis completed her doctoral studies in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health focused on structural approaches to public health interventions, particularly in relation to evaluation of social and organizational influences on health, capacity development initiatives, and the effectiveness of collaborations and partnerships.
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.