DHPE’s Chair Linda Chasson and Chair-elect Rochelle Hurst joined DHPE Staff members Susan Goekler (Executive Director) and Donna Nichols (Director of Health Policy) were in Atlanta this week for visits to CDC.
We met with Dr. Janet Collins who is now Associate Director of Programs for CDC and with Scott Miller and others from the Office of the Associate Director of Policy for CDC in addition to Dr. Bauer, Director of the National Center for chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, several of her staff, and several representatives of Divisions within the Center.
Linda Chasson explained DHPE’s more focused vision and direction, which many appreciated. We also shared updates on DHPE’s programs and explored policy opportunities. Those at CDC seemed no more knowledgeable about future budget numbers than those of us in the field, but everyone thought the funding would get tighter. Accountability was a big issue. Concrete suggestions for demonstrating policy accountability were to document increases in healthy behaviors (ex. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables or more children participating in Safe Routes to Schools), decreases in either unhealthy behaviors such as smoking in public places or in disease burden such as uncontrolled hypertension, or increased access such as of school grounds after school which might be attributable to mixed use agreements. If a policy intervention might have contributed to the outcome, the outcome would be acceptable even if the policy itself is not as a way of showing success.