Online Program

From biology to policy: Challenges and opportunities to advance the public's health

Monday, November 2, 2015: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Effective public health policies are inextricably linked to a sound science base. No other area in public health exemplifies this relationship as clearly as environmental health. In the early 70’s, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act were originally created with public health prevention as the driver. Recent chemical incidents resulting in operationalizing key provisions of those policies demonstrated a clear gap between policy and science. Developing science-driven policies is hampered by several key challenges: the under recognition of the research continuum linking basic research to population-based science; the lag time between science findings and translation into policy; the delayed amendments of existing policies that are informed by outdated science; policy development driven in most instances by fear and not facts; the failure to incorporate evaluation of potential public health impacts into the social license to operate; and a lack of monitoring and enforcement. This session has a three-pronged goal: demonstrate advances in systems biology and population-based science capable of influencing public health policy; identify challenges and opportunities in the role of policy as a public health protection strategy; and examine the impact on communities as end users of science and stakeholders of health policy. Four linked presentations will examine the role of policy as a public health protection strategy; share advances in basic research and the implications for policy; provide examples of chemical and non-chemical stressors as human health effects which could inform environmental health policy or address critical policy gaps; and assess the impact on communities as policy stakeholders and the end user of science. The session fits the overall conference theme of Health in All Policies and is designed to serve as an example of a strategy in the broad area of “becoming the healthiest nation.” In addition, the presentations address the American Public Health Association’s overarching priorities, especially Creating Health Equity. At the end of the session, participants will be able to describe the interconnectedness of science and policy; identify key challenges hampering the role of science in policy; and assess the impact of policy on population health.
Session Objectives: • Describe the interconnectedness of science and policy. • Identify key challenges hampering the role of science in policy. • Assess the impact of policy on population health.

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Organized by: APHA

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: APHA