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November 3, 2015 5:54 PMCategory: Nutrition, Physical Activity

APHA 2015: Health in All Policies

2015_AM_logoThe 2015 theme for the American Public Health Association’s conference is Health in All Policies (HiAP), reminding us that we are all responsible for creating healthy, vibrant communities:

“The environments in which people live, work, learn and play have a tremendous impact on their health. Responsibility for the social determinants of health falls to many nontraditional health partners, such as housing, transportation, education, air quality, parks, criminal justice, energy, and employment agencies. Public health agencies and organizations will need to work with those who are best positioned to create policies (legal and regulatory) and practices that promote healthy communities and environments and secure the many co-benefits that can be attained through healthy public policy.”  — APHA

Plan4Health coalitions across the country are working to prevent chronic disease by incorporating health into planning policies — reaching across sectors to strengthen communities — and embodying Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s call to action during the conference opening session:

“Health has to be woven into every strand of public policy.”

Tackling HiAP might feel a little daunting, but Plan4Health communities are taking on the challenge. ChangeLab Solutions recently featured the HiAP work of Summit County, Ohio, one of the Plan4Health target communities.

ChangeLab chronicles the work of Summit County from 2008 to 2013, incorporating the county’s lessons learned into a toolkit: From Start to Finish: How to Permanently Improve Government Through Health in All Policies.

The ChangeLab toolkit includes three key features. Check out this summary and customizable presentation from ChangeLabs below:


  1. From Start to Finish: How to Permanently Improve Government Through Health in All Policies 
    This is an introduction to Health in All Policies. It outlines five key strategies for effectively adopting and implementing one of ChangeLab Solutions’ Commitment to Change Model Policies, which formalize a strong Health in All Policies initiative. These five key strategies are: Engage & Envision, Convene & Collaborate, Make a Plan, Invest in Change, and Track Progress.
  2. Commitment to Change: Health in All Policies Model Policies
    The heart of this toolkit is three model policies (ordinance, resolution, and general plan language) that institutionalize Health in All Policies. They offer policy options for communities at different stages of readiness, or that face different opportunities to create change.
  3. Collaborative Health: A Health in All Policies Presentation
    This customizable presentation is designed to help make the case for Health in All Policies and build support for an initiative among leaders and community members.

soh-flyer-150x150National Plan4Health partners are also supporting the implementation of HiAP.  The Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE) recently presented A Story of Health to the Plan4Health community: “A Story of Health eBook grounds the science of health in stories of fictional people, their families, and communities to enable readers to explore the risk factors for disease as well as how to prevent disease and promote health and resilience.”

Thinking in terms of HiAP, A Story of Health broadens the conversation about health to include the impact of our environment and the perspective of nontraditional health partners.  Click here to listen to the Plan4Health webinar and to learn more about how to use this interactive tool in your community.

Continue to follow the HiAP conversation at #APHA15 and stay up to date on the news and activities at the APHA conference through Wednesday, November 5!

Images from APHA, ChangeLab Solutions, and Collaborative on Health and the Environment.