Supporting policy change to improve health in Louisiana: The role of research and education in advocacy
Prior to the 2014 Louisiana legislative session, the Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Tulane University assessed Louisiana’s most prominent public health challenges through a policy gap analysis, key informant interviews, and a literature review of best-practices from other U.S. states. This analysis resulted in a set of promising strategies that could improve health outcomes at the state level, including those targeted at the prenatal and school-age populations, as well as community-wide interventions. Worksite lactation support, smoke-free school zones, and state-level obesity coordination approaches were among the identified strategies.
The PRC educated policy makers about the potential health impact of this set of strategies through formal presentations and testimonies at the state capitol, a series of research briefs, and social media activities targeting the general public. The Chair of the Louisiana Senate Committee on Health and Welfare consulted the results of the PRC’s public health analysis to compose 10 pieces of legislation for the 2014 Louisiana legislative session. Nine of the bills or resolutions addressing public health at the state-level passed successfully. Advocacy through research and education can bridge the gap between public health practitioners and policy makers to bring about legislation that positively affects environments in which we work, live, learn and play.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy
Identify strategies used to advocate for public health policies through research and education.
Keyword(s): Advocacy, Public Health Policy
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Prevention Research Center at Tulane University. I managed the state-level public health analysis and had significant input in the development of the project.
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.