Winter 2021 Newsletter

What’s NEW at ChangeLab Solutions?

Dear friends and colleagues,

2021 is already a year like no other; as a nation, we have witnessed the swearing-in of the first Black and South Asian woman vice president as well as nominations for a US Cabinet that is slated to be the most diverse in US history. As an organization committed to equity, we support greater diversity at every level of government.

With new national leadership and a new phase of the pandemic, we in public health law and policy have an important opportunity to accelerate our critical work to advance equity. We have an opportunity to create lasting change during a time of transition. At ChangeLab Solutions, we are reinvesting in our mission and our engagement to help ensure healthier lives for all people.

Read on to learn more about our projects, and, as always, feel free to reach out with questions.

With hope and determination for the year ahead,
Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions


COVID-19 Law & Policy Briefings

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Begun in 2020, this timely series of Twitter briefings offers discussion and recommendations on how federal, state, and local leaders can better respond to COVID-19. On February 11, Sarah de Guia will be hosting a briefing with Kim Haddow, strategic consultant at Local Solutions Support Center, and Sabrina Adler, vice president of law at ChangeLab Solutions, on how state and federal governments have used preemption to limit solutions to COVID-19 and how advocates and local governments can respond. Please join us on Twitter for the event!


Planner’s Playbook

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The latest addition to our suite of healthy planning resources, The Planner’s Playbook, is a practical, step-by-step guide for planners and policymakers on how to equitably engage community members in developing plans that disrupt patterns of structural disadvantage. The playbook builds on the core concepts in our foundational resource Long-Range Planning for Health, Equity & Prosperity, providing resources, concrete steps, and examples for planners who wish to center equity in their planning practice so that their communities promote opportunity and prosperity for all.


The Civil Rights of Health

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Understanding health as a matter of justice and understanding civil rights law as a health intervention can strengthen public health advocacy. This journal article in the UCLA Law Review maps out three major pathways through which health disparities can arise and proposes a health justice alliance of public health advocates, civil rights lawyers, and social justice leaders. Authors Angela P. Harris and Aysha Pamukcu were supported by ChangeLab Solutions senior attorney Katie Hannon Michel in research and thought partnership.


Thank you to Manel Kappagoda

Manel Kappagoda

Please join us in thanking our vice president of strategic initiatives, Manel Kappagoda, for 13 years of service; her vision and relationship building have helped shape our organization. During her tenure, she developed and led the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity; built our work with health systems; and served on California’s Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee. In 2020, Manel was instrumental in leading our internal pandemic response effort.
Manel will be moving on to work directly on the COVID-19 response in California, joining the Tracing Health program at the Public Health Institute. We will miss Manel at ChangeLab Solutions, but please join us in wishing her well in her new endeavor!