A 10 Step Guide based on the Connecticut Chronic Disease Policy Scan.
 

In an effort to systematize policy approaches among its various chronic disease programs, Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) conducted a policy scan to obtain baseline knowledge of existing state statutes pertaining to chronic disease. In April 2014, the Department released the state’s coordinated plan for chronic disease prevention and health promotion called Live Healthy Connecticut. The plan outlines the state’s indicators and goals in 12 chronic disease areas: asthma, cancer, diabetes, genomics, health care access, health care quality, health equity, heart health, nutrition and physical activity, obesity, oral health, and tobacco. The indicators track progress in each priority area with a particular focus on health equity and vulnerable populations (VP).

About Policy Scans

A policy scan is essentially a survey of the existing policies in particular areas of interest. The purpose is to identify existing policies in a particular area to inform future program and policy work. With an interest in developing, modifying, advancing and implementing policies to promote chronic disease prevention and improve health equity, DPH found the policy scan to be an important component of a shared knowledge base.

A policy scan systematically gathers and analyzes policies in a particular area of interest. It provides a unified location for multiple stakeholders, partners and advocates to access policy information and analysis. Also, it can serve as a planning tool for modifying existing policies and for future policy work. It will also help to avoid duplicative efforts, and the health equity review aids prevention of unintended consequences for vulnerable populations.

Those that can benefit from conducting a policy scan include not only public health professionals, but policy advocates, non-profits and community organizations from different sectors as well. This guide will briefly describe the process used to conduct the policy scan in Connecticut and how it can be replicated in other states and organizations.

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