Online Program

Applying a health equity lens when completing bill analyses

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Gail Brandt, BS, RD, MPH, EdD, Office of Healthy Communities, Washington State DOH, Olympia, WA
Kristin Villas, BA, MPAc, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington - School of Public Administration, Seattle,, WA
In 2015 the Washington State Department of Health instituted a process for applying a health equity lens when completing legislative bill analyses. The state has a part time legislature that convenes during the second week in January. When the department of health reviews the legislation being presented the leadership team determines which legislation will be reviewed by the agency. A bill analysis template is used across the department. After three years of advocacy by members of the Health Equity Team, a question related to health equity was added to the template. In order to assist the analyst with accurately answering the question, team members created a list of factors to consider when responding. The list included key contact staff within the department to assist with the question Preparation was provided to all analysts as part of required training in preparation for the new legislative session. A tracking tool was put into place to insure the question was answered. At the end of the session in June 2015, analysts will have the opportunity to debrief and provide feedback for process improvement in 2016. By conference time, the presenter will have the results of this new process for analyzing legislative bills using a health equity lens. The presenter will share process for this achievement, lessons learned and anticipated changes based on the 2015 experience.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least one benefit of applying a health equity lens to my department's legislative bill analyses.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Organizational Change

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the health equity manager for the WA State Department of Health, I developed a set of questions and training for staff responsible for completing legislative bill analyses. For the last three years I have advocated for including a question on the agency bill analysis template asking prompting the analyst to assess if the bill might negatively impact community groups. This year I succeeded and the template was revised for the 2015 legislative session.
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.