The goal of a Health in All Policies approach is to ensure that the health of the public is taken into consideration across all sectors and policy areas. It is a collaborative approach that seeks to address the social determinants of health, which are the environmental, social, and economic factors that determine a person’s health. Health in All Policies engages diverse stakeholders, such as governments, nonprofits, and community members, to work together to achieve common goals. At its core, Health in All Policies is a framework that aims to improve the overall health of a population and reduce inequities by applying a public health lens to all types of policy.
Health in All Policies matters because it situates a population’s health as a major issue for all government sectors, making it everyone’s responsibility to ensure health equity, meaning everyone has the opportunity to achieve good health. And, when different entities band together to fight for health equity, positive change often results. Even more, a Health in All Policies approach goes beyond addressing public health by promoting job creation, economic stability, and sustainability, which reflects how, in order to achieve health equity, stakeholders must account for the physical, social, and socioeconomic components of health.
Learn With Us!
The Community Health Training Institute is offering a training titled, “Implementing a Health in All Policies Approach.” This in-person training will be held at Assumption College in Worcester, MA on October 23rd from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Thanks to generous funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, all trainings are free and open to everyone! Come train with us and learn more about implementing the key elements of a HiAP approach in your coalition and community work.
Listed below are a number of resources to help better elucidate the nuances of a Health in All Policies approach:
What is Health in All Policies?
- This short video succinctly describes what a Health in All Policies approach looks like.
- “Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments,” put together by the Public Health Institute, outlines the key elements of a Health in All Policies approach. Although its target audience is state and local government leaders, it defines key elements of a HiAP approach in addition to explaining the details and benefits of this framework.
What Are Some Concrete Examples?
- The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials created a toolkit that provides examples of the ways in which states are working to implement Health in All Policies. For example, in California, the Safe and Active Communities Branch of the Violence Prevention Unit at the California DPH created a project geared towards ending violence against women, which fits into a broader HiAP framework.
- The National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) put together a fact sheet that not only outlines what Health in All Policies means, but also provides snapshots of HiAP in action, concretizing what it looks like to implement a HiAP approach.
What Is Boston Doing?
- The Boston Public Health Commission put together an overview of their efforts to implement Health in All Policies, highlighting initiatives like the Complete Streets Guidelines (ensuring that bikers, pedestrians, and people who take public transportation can have as safe of a commute as people who drive) and expanding Farmer’s Markets into almost every neighborhood.