The American Heart Association has just published Evidence-Based Policy Making: Assessment of the American Heart Association’s Strategic Policy Portfolio in its flagship journal, Circulation. This policy statement provides a comprehensive review of the evidence base behind the organization’s strategic policy agenda and outlines how evidence-based research can help move the Association toward its 2020 Impact Goals of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent. The findings also demonstrate how well AHA policies align with health metrics and cardiovascular disease management indicators.
The use of basic, clinical and population research to expand and strengthen the evidence base for new policy development is at the core of the policy statement’s findings. Additionally, the Association recommends viewing all policy decisions through an evaluation lens, which measures the impact of targeted improvements, the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions, the extent to which vulnerable populations are reached and health disparities are addressed. The analysis provides background and an approach for other groups involved in public health to evaluate their own policy work and research.
Evidence-based policy making is the cornerstone of impactful advocacy efforts. Evaluation of this work should continue after implementation to assure the policy is effective and intended outcomes are reached. The report also reveals how future research ideas are connected to the design and implementation of intervention strategies, through a continuous cycle of reciprocal research and policy development.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.