Online Program

Obesity, Collaboration, and Politics. Using Agenda-Setting Theory in the Community Policy Process to Identify Sources of Change

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 :

Lea Urita, MPH, Partners for a Better Health, Ontario, CA
Debora Rathbone, M.A. R.D., Advocacy and Healthy Communities, 18300 Highway 18 Apple Valley, CA 92345, Apple Valley, CA
Kevin Mahany, MPH, Advocacy & Healthy Communities, St. Joseph Health St. Mary Medical Center, Apple Valley, CA
Jessica Soto, Hesperia Unified School District, Hesperia, CA
Childhood obesity rate is over 40 percent in the High Desert Region of San Bernardino County; the national average is 10 percent. The Hesperia Unified  School District, St. Joseph’s Health, St. Mary’s Medical Center, and Partners for A Better Health along with a Randall Lewis Fellow formed a collaboration to introduce a “Healthy Snacking Policy” to the Hesperia Unified School District.

This case study identifies the first stage of the policy process through the Agenda-Setting Theory (as advanced by John Kingdon). In an effort to find the policy stream convergence, we explored how systems change can occur through the collaboration of stakeholders through: 1) the identification of a common goal, 2) the implementation of a policy and plans for evaluation, as well as 3) the process through which a consensus was reached among the stakeholders on the expansion of the scope of the policy. This allowed us to identify the policy window for implementation at the Hesperia Unified School District..

We will also present a model for how policy advocacy can be used to identify sources of change within local political systems to facilitate collaboration and to identify some of the pitfalls of advocates.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the dimensions of local policy process. Discuss the community policy process to building capacity. Identify how the convergence of political policy can affect systems change.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Randall Lewis Health Policy Fellow for the Healthy High Desert Communities of Adelanto, Hesperia, Victoreville and Apple Valley. I worked as a coordinator in community setting through community health workers as well as the lead for program plan development for diabetes and obesity prevention.
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.