Winter 2024 Newsletter

Sarah de Guia discusses ChangeLab's impact & looks forward to more collaboration with community partners

As we move into 2024, I have been reflecting on ChangeLab Solutions’ many impactful achievements toward improving the public’s health in the past year. Our organizational values include collaboration and learning, and with the support of our funders and partners, we have trained, engaged, or connected with over 28,000 public health practitioners in close to 3,000 communities across the nation. The ChangeLab team has produced groundbreaking legal and policy analysis, products, and toolkits that are guiding community partners in their advocacy campaigns, helping government partners to implement programs in more equitable ways, and supporting changemakers in identifying pressing community priorities across the country.

2024 will require resilience and flexibility, and I am thinking about ways to build on our successes and integrate important lessons learned, knowing that public health resources are limited, communities are divided, and priorities will be tested. I invite you to read my recent reflections on our successes in 2023, which will be our guideposts as we continue our work to protect and promote health and equity in these challenging times.

Strengthened by our organization’s internal equity work, the ChangeLab team is ready, resilient, and recommitted to building community power, advancing justice, and supporting health for all in this new year. We look forward to working with you. Please explore some of our latest projects below, and reach out with any questions or ideas for collaboration.


Webinar: Policies to Support Children’s Mental Health


Our new webinar series, Meeting the Challenge: Evidence-Based Policies to Support Children’s Mental Health & Well-Being, investigates equitable policy options to promote children’s mental health. Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our first episode discusses income security and housing policies to help lower poverty rates and strengthen families’ economic stability. We’ll discuss what the data tell us about children’s mental health needs and how housing is connected to income security and children’s mental health. Register today to join the webinar on Wednesday, February 14, at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern.


Article: Equitable Enforcement & People with Disabilities


Framed in terms of disability justice and health justice, our new article in The Milbank Quarterly discusses how two dimensions of inequitable enforcement — underenforcement of some laws and overenforcement of others — interact and amplify one another in the context of housing policies, creating a vicious cycle of poverty, poor health, and marginalization for people with disabilities. In Stopping the Vicious Cycle: Equitable Enforcement Strategies to Achieve Safe, Stable, and Accessible Housing for People with Disabilities, Katie Hannon Michel, Maya Hazarika Watts, Jessica Breslin, and Elizabeth Tobin-Tyler propose solutions that policymakers can use to facilitate equitable enforcement, ensuring compliance with the law while minimizing harm to marginalized people.


Legislative Update: Freedom & the Common Good


In our recent legislative update for Act for Public Health — an initiative of the Public Health Law Partnership — we examine how concepts of freedom and autonomy are used in conversations about governmental efforts to protect and improve people’s health and well-being in our communities. We highlight bills that reflect a shift toward concepts of freedom that affirm the individual liberties of all people by recognizing our interdependence with others and the systems in which we interact. Visit Act for Public Health to sign up for updates on new resources and trainings and to join a network of law and policy peers who are working to preserve and promote public health officials' ability to do their job.


Report: Increasing Public Health Law Training


To inform academic institutions about how they can increase training in public health law for public health students, ChangeLab Solutions, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducted a multi-year assessment that included an environmental scan, data collection and analysis, and key informant interviews. Our summary report presents key findings, identifies challenges and barriers, and offers opportunities and recommendations that academic institutions and public health training programs can use to provide practitioners with basic knowledge of the law and its impact on social determinants of health.