I am grateful to have work I care about deeply that contributes to much-needed positive change in our communities. I enjoy making new connections with partner organizations and peers who feel the same way, even if we can only meet virtually.
Collaborating with partners is critical in order for public health work that centers on health equity to move forward in its best form. This newsletter highlights our collaborations with partners, which bring together a diverse range of perspectives and expertise to create work that is useful and practical.
Whether we are convening to discuss health justice, collaborating on preemption issues or a public deliberation, or contributing policy recommendations to improve health equity during this time of COVID-19, we are stronger together.
Read more about these projects below, and as always, feel free to reach out with questions.
Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions
You are invited to Health Justice: Engaging Critical Perspectives in Health Law & Policy, an online convening on Friday, October 2. Advocates and stakeholders in public health, law, health care, and advocacy will share diverse perspectives on key issues in health justice. Our CEO Sarah de Guia will deliver welcoming remarks alongside Lindsay F. Wiley, American University Washington College of Law, and Ruqaiijah Yearby, Institute for Healing Justice and Equity and St. Louis University School of Law. Registration is free but required.
Cities and counties are incubators of innovative public health policies. Local governments — and the people they represent — should have the power to pass their own laws to make positive change, but state laws often block them. Our new resource, Assessing & Addressing Preemption: A Toolkit for Local Policy Campaigns, can help city and county changemakers deal with preemption threats to the advancement of health equity. The strategies in the toolkit draw on the expertise of our partners at Local Solutions Support Center, Voices for Healthy Kids, and ThinkForward Strategies.
A new case study, published as a commentary in the National Academy of Medicine’s Perspectives, describes how public deliberation was used to incorporate community views into city decisionmaking in Roanoke, Virginia. ChangeLab Solutions co-led the public deliberation process on behalf of the City of Roanoke’s planning department. Shauneequa Owusu, our chief strategy officer and a co-author of the case study, comments, “It’s critical to center the voices of community members in policy development to advance health equity. Actively engaging residents' input in the decisionmaking process created policy that served the needs of the community."
ChangeLab Solutions is proud to be among 50 national experts who contributed to a new report, Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19, which offers recommendations for government leaders on 35 wide-ranging topics. Our CEO Sarah de Guia, a member of the editorial committee, reviewed the report from the perspective of health equity. We also contributed a chapter on how preemptive laws are affecting local communities’ ability to protect the health of their most vulnerable residents during the pandemic. Each chapter details how the law has been used, misused, or underused in the response to COVID-19; discusses implementation; provides strategies and resources for policymakers; and offers innovative and research-driven policy solutions. (Also of interest: An opinion piece by Nicolas P. Terry, one of our fellow contributors, calls for congressional action on specific recommendations.)