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Policy: Maryland Center for Health Equity

Health in All Policies Workgroup

View the Senate Bill 340: University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity — Workgroup on Health in All Policies: September 2019 Report.

On May 4th, 2017, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity Workgroup on Health in All Policies.

The law:

  1. Directs M-CHE to convene a workgroup that will make recommendations to state and local legislators to inform laws and policies that will 
  2. promote health equity and have a positive impact on the life of Maryland’s residents, and
  3. Specifies that the M-CHE conduct a health impact assessment on issues of access to safe and affordable housing, education, employment opportunities, environment and public safety, among others.

The legislation was introduced by a group of Maryland lawmakers including Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who is a member of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

What is “Health in All Policies?”

At its simplest, Health in All Policies is an approach to policy-making that incorporates health considerations into all decisions across all sectors.

The World Health Organization defines Health in All Policies as:

…an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity.  A Health in All Policies approach is founded on health-related rights and obligations. It improves accountability of policymakers for health impacts at all levels of policymaking. It includes an emphasis on the consequences of public policies on health systems, determinants of health, and well-being. It also contributes to sustainable development. 
 

WHO: Health in All Policies: Framework for Country Action
This framework provides countries with a practical means of enhancing a coherent approach to Health in All Policies (HiAP), particularly at a national level.

Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments
This guide was was created by the American Public Health Association, Public Health Institute and the California Department of Public Health to support state and local guvernment leaders who want to use intersectional collaboration to promote health

  • Read the Senate Bill 340: University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity — Workgroup on Health in All Policies: September 2019 Report
  • Read the Senate Bill 340: University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity — Workgroup on Health in All Policies: January 2019 Report

The Senate Bill 340: University of Maryland School of Public Health, Center for Health Equity — Workgroup on Health in All Policies: September 2019 Report includes the following recommendations for the Maryland Legislature’s consideration:

  1. A Health in All Policies Framework be developed and a Health in All Policies Council be created.
  2. A toolkit with a reference guide be developed.
  3. Funding announcements encourage applicants to include a Health in All Policies framework in their funding proposals.
  4. A process to provide guidance to state and county agencies to facilitate data sharing between and within agencies be developed.
  5. Maryland localities consult the Health in All Policies toolkit and Reference Guide during the Comprehensive Planning and Zoning regulations development process.

Meeting Schedule and Minutes

View the minutes from that meeting.

  • June 13, 2007
  • August 22, 2017
  • September 21, 2017
  • October 26, 2017
  • November 15, 2017
  • December 14, 2017
  • January 15, 2018

View the Workgroup on Health in All Policies member list.

“Health in All Policies” Bill Becomes Law

May 8, 2017

On May 4th, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law a bill that engages the UMD School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) in advising state lawmakers on healthy public policy. The law directs M-CHE to convene a workgroup that will make recommendations to state and local legislators to inform laws and policies that will promote health equity and have a positive impact on the life of Maryland’s residents.

The bill also specifies that the M-CHE will conduct a health impact assessment on issues of access to safe and affordable housing, education, employment opportunities, environment and public safety, among others. The legislation was introduced by a group of Maryland lawmakers including Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, who is a member of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

The bill emphasizes the “Health in all Policies” collaborative approach outlined by the American Public Health Association, which aims to ensure that policymakers and stakeholders include health considerations in their decision making across sectors and policy areas. Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE), provided testimony when the bill was being considered by the state legislature this spring, highlighting that a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach identifies how decisions in multiple sectors can affect health, and emphasizing that better health can support the goals of these multiple sectors. 

“Health in All Policies” bill passes Maryland Senate Finance Committee

 

February 16, 2017

A new bill (SB 340), sponsored by Maryland State Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, will engage the UMD School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity in advising state lawmakers on healthy public policy. Dr. Stephen B. Thomas, director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE), testified in support of the bill, which requires M-CHE to convene a workgroup that will make recommendations to state and local legislators to inform laws and policies that will promote health equity and have a positive impact on the life of Maryland’s residents.

The language of the bill emphasizes the “Health in all Policies” collaborative approach outlined by the American Public Health Association, which aims to ensure that policymakers and stakeholders in the public and private sectors include health considerations into decision making across sectors and policy areas. In his testimony, Dr. Thomas highlighted that a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach identifies the ways in which decisions in multiple sectors affect health, and how better health can support the goals of these multiple sectors. 

The bill also specifies that the Center for Health Equity will conduct a health impact assessment on issues of access to safe and affordable housing, education, employment opportunities, environment and public safety, among others. The bill (SB340) passed unanimously in the Finance Committee on February 8, 2017, and has moved for to the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee for a vote and then to the House for a final vote.