Advancing Public Health Through Law and Policy
Law and policy are among the most effective tools to improve health. Many of the greatest public health successes in the United States are the result of legal or policy interventions, such as smoke-free air laws and mandatory seatbelt laws.1 Yet many people may not be aware of the precise impact these interventions and approaches can have on population health.
The Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy project aimed to help close that gap by showcasing evidence-based legal and policy interventions that impact public health. The project was a partnership between the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
Law and Health Policy Resources
Project partners worked with subject matter experts and federal stakeholders to develop a series of Healthy People 2020 topic-specific reports, webinars, and other evidence-based products such as infographics and success stories, or Bright Spots. These resources and publications highlight laws and policies with the potential to impact specific Healthy People 2020 topic areas and objectives, including Leading Health Indicators.
Review different resources produced by the Law and Health Policy project:
- Disability and Health
- Healthcare-Associated Infections
- Health Equity
- Healthy People 2030
- Leading Health Indicators
- Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
- Mental Health and Mental Disorders
- Nutrition and Weight Status
- Oral Health
- Policy Levers
- Substance Abuse
Report Authors and Working Groups
Authors of the topic-specific reports were chosen based on their background and subject matter expertise — usually from outside the federal government. Up to 4 co-authors worked on each report with assistance from a working group of federal and non-government professionals from varying disciplines and practice areas relevant to the report’s subject matter.
Other groups who provided input and support for the reports and related resources included the Healthy People 2020 Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW), the Healthy People 2020 topic area workgroups, and the project partners.
1. Domestic public health achievements team. Ten great public health achievements — United States, 2001–2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60(19):619-62.