November 30, 2018

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) recently interviewed our founder and CEO Marice Ashe about strategies for advancing health equity at the state and territory level. The interview also touched on work that ChangeLab Solutions is doing to help state and local governments. Here are some highlights from the interview:

How can states build healthier and more resilient communities through policy development?

States have unique and powerful roles in building healthier and more resilient communities. They have broad “police power” authority granted by the U.S. Constitution to protect the health, safety, and well-being of residents. This gives state policymakers substantial authority with tremendous flexibility and discretion to adopt legal and policy strategies that maximize health outcomes. While the federal government exerts significant fiscal influence over what states can do, at the end of the day, it is state governments that hold the primary responsibility for ensuring community health outcomes. In addition, states are the proverbial “laboratories of democracy.” They are expected to test, tailor, and innovate legal and policy strategies to find the very best approaches to serve statewide and local needs.

What has been your biggest achievement and greatest challenge since founding ChangeLab Solutions twenty-five years ago?

Our single biggest achievement has been developing the largest library in the nation of model laws and policies to improve health outcomes and equity. These resources provide roadmaps for success and are free to every state and local government. Our greatest challenge is providing in-depth technical assistance everywhere we’re needed. We hope to begin a series of train-the-trainer sessions to spread our knowledge more broadly, so that state and local agencies can move more quickly to act.

Looking to the future, how do you define progress over the next 10-25 years?

Success is when we prevent health inequalities based on race or income, when state and local governments embrace health in all policies so thoroughly that we are always thinking and acting in multi-dimensional systems, when playing in a safe place is as common as wearing a seat belt, when a livable wage is as common as a vaccination, and when junk food in schools is as rare as ashtrays in workplaces.

Read the full interview.

ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, and over 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ.

November 19, 2018

ChangeLab Solutions’ chief executive officer and founder Marice Ashe was recently honored with the American Public Health Association (APHA) law section’s Lifetime Achievement in Public Health Law award. She received the award on Monday, November 12, while attending the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in San Diego, California.

According to APHA’s website, the lifetime achievement award is “given annually to an individual who, over the course of his or her career, has made significant contributions to the field of public health law.”

Marice Ashe has been an exceptional leader in promoting health equity and implementing innovative tobacco control policies. Across her career, she has launched many groundbreaking efforts to advance public health through the use of law and policy. Under her leadership, ChangeLab Solutions has grown into a truly unique interdisciplinary organization that works to improve health in communities across the country.

In case you missed it, here’s an interview that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Law News recently conducted with Marice.

November 13, 2018

As policymakers respond to gun violence and school safety concerns with expanded on-campus policing and zero-tolerance discipline practices, students of color disproportionately suffer the far-reaching negative consequences. ChangeLab Solutions’ Alexis Etow and Cesar De La Vega recently co-authored a commentary in Education Week, warning that increased reliance on punitive and exclusionary discipline practices will create civil rights and public health crises for the affected students and communities.

“Rather than continuing to punish our most marginalized students and deepening their health inequities, political attention must turn to ensuring that schools keep our children in the classroom and focus on what is important for students: learning—and the school conditions that support it.” Read the full op-ed on Education Weekly’s website.

Contact our team to learn how to promote alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices in your state, subscribe to receive our news updates, and support our work.

October 10, 2018

Our tobacco control team is at the forefront of confronting tobacco-related health disparities through innovative law and policy. We’ve recently released several new and updated products:

ChangeLab Solutions provides technical assistance to organizations, agencies, and communities that want to reduce tobacco use. Contact us to learn more!

October 9, 2018

Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ChangeLab Solutions, the Public Health Law Academy offers free online trainings that give public health professionals the knowledge and tools they need to create change through legal or policy-based solutions.
Public Health Law Academy has new legal epidemiology resources to share! Legal epidemiology is the scientific study of how laws affect public health. Check out all of our free trainings and resources:

The online trainings can also be used by other professionals, such as public health lawyers, public health nurses, public health educators, public health advocates, and public health faculty and students in graduate and undergraduate university programs.