Unnatural Causes Policy Guide
Out of the 12 policy topic areas listed in the Unnatural Causes Policy Guide the topic that interest me the most was Promote Understanding of the Social Determinants of Health. I chose this topic area because we’ve been learning about social determinants of health since the beginning of the semester and the information I’ve been learning from the readings and videos have really stimulated my understanding about the root causes of health such as a person’s social, physical and economic environment. The organization that I chose to explore was PolicyLink, which is a national research and action institute that promotes economic and social equity. The goal of PolicyLink is to create flourishing communities that offer opportunities for all individuals where they have inclusion in these activities and can thrive from them to achieve their goals. This organization primarily focuses on low-income communities and ...view middle of the document...
Within this emphasis PolicyLink utilizes numerous strategies to accomplish their vision of healthy communities of opportunity which includes advocacy, technical assistance, research and data analysis, convening’s and communication.
When it comes to PolicyLink’s priority of improving access to healthy foods in low-income communities and communities of color PolicyLink is using a variety of methods to bring awareness to this issue. This organization points out community innovations so that other communities can prosper from these models, observations and procedures. PolicyLink also engages in local, state and federal advocacy campaigns, conducts research to make their argument for innovations stronger in order to boost impact and encourages and supports community driven advocacy and implementation practices. With the efforts of PolicyLink along with The Reinvestment Fund, The Food Trust Fund, local, state and national healthy food advocates, Congress passed The Agricultural Act of 2014, the Farm Bill, on February 4, 2014. The Farm Bill will authorize a national Healthy Food Financing Initiative at the United States Department of Agriculture, thus allowing the expansion of accessible fresh foods in low-income communities throughout the U.S.
People at the bottom are exposed to many health threats and have little or no control over things such as not having access to healthy food (Unnatural Causes: What is Health Equity). When it comes to this issue PolicyLink is utilizing multiple strategies to raise awareness about inaccessible healthy foods in low-income communities on a local, state and national level. Tackling health inequities is a “matter of empowering communities and reshaping institutions to address the social and economic conditions that profoundly shape our health” (Unnatural Causes Policy Guide). One of the many objectives of PolicyLink is being “committed to making changes needed in policy, practice and research to reduce the disproportionate impact on those most affected”, particularly people living in low-income communities and people of color (PolicyLink). PolicyLink is going the distance when it comes to ensuring communities with good social, physical and economic environments which contribute to health inequities.