Center for Public Health Innovation

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What does this team do for our community?

The Policy, Research & Evaluation team evaluates systems to identify opportunities to improve health equity, researches best practices to inform recommendations, and advocates and implements policy that creates and promotes better health. By focusing on systems, or the structures that create the communities we live within, we have opportunities uniquely and effectively address public health. 


These efforts influence both our work within Columbus Public Health and the community we serve with our five priority policy areas always in mind:

      Built Environment

      Family Health

      Food Systems

      Mental Health & Substance Use

      *Access to Care* (subject to change)


    Policy shapes the world we live in and continues to be a primary focus for public health professionals identifying opportunities to empower our community. 


    How are policies made?

    Access to care

    Access to Care

    Access to affordable, quality health care is important to physical, social, and mental health. Having access to care allows community members to enter the health care system, find care easily and locally, pay for care, and get their health needs met. Adopting and carrying out strategies that reduce barriers to care and promote preventative healthcare to better match the needs of the community can increase access to care, improve health and well-being and reduce health disparities. Examples of access to care policy include:


           Health Insurance (Medicaid, Marketplace, Medicare, private, etc.)

           Navigating Healthcare Systems

           Availability of Culturally Competent Healthcare Resources

           Quality of Healthcare


        Built Environment picture

        Built Environment

        How our communities are planned, designed and built can have a major influence on our health. The built environment affects how much exercise we get, our exposure to environmental hazards, and our access to opportunity. Our work focuses on improving health and safety in the places where people live, work, learn, and play. Examples of built environment policy include:


                Housing Stability

                Transportation Equity

                Parks and Greenspace Access

                Zoning Reform


            Family picture

            Family Health

            The well-being of mothers, infants, children, and families is a reflection of a community’s health and social condition. These populations’ most serious health outcomes – including maternal and infant morbidity and mortality – are affected by multiple complex factors ranging from personal behaviors to systems-level issues. Family Health policy aims to address a wide range of conditions that affect the health, wellness, and quality of life for women, children, and families in our community. Examples of family health policy include:


                     Health Care Before, During & After Pregnancy

                     Chronic Stress & Birth Outcomes

                     Infant, Child & Adolescent Wellness

                     Health Education Standards


                Farmers Market

                Food Systems

                Food security is a determinant of health and is defined as access to acceptable, affordable, and fresh food. Often, health and racial disparities create unequal access to food, thereby creating an inequitable food system. These inequities are magnified by historical and current policies and practices that have unfairly created barriers to access related to employment, wages, housing, neighborhood investment, and social safety net programs. Examples of food policy include:


                         Urban Agriculture & Land Use

                         Community Health & Nutrition

                         Food Supply & Food Waste

                         City of Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan



                    Mental health discussion

                    Mental Health & Substance Use

                    Mental health and substance use disorders have substantial influence on overall health and everyday life. These illnesses are often common, chronic, and serious, but with access to affordable, quality support services, those suffering can recover. Reducing the stigma of these disorders while reducing and removing barriers to care and recovery are vital to empowering a healthy community. Examples of mental health and substance use policy include:


                             Community & Peer Support Services

                             Integrated Care & Effective Treatment

                             Addiction (Opiates, Amphetamine, Tobacco, etc.)

                             Long-Term Recovery & Resiliency