Today represents a big milestone at CityHealth. Every five years, we are committed to reviewing our policy package to ensure that it reflects the latest science on cities’ most pressing problems. The process of choosing our policies is methodical and thorough. The first step is for leading researchers to conduct an initial scan of the policy landscape to suggest ways that the policy package could be enhanced to create the most healthy, equitable opportunities for a thriving life. Second, CityHealth convenes top policy experts and urban influencers from across the nation, our Policy Advisory Committee, to advise us on which policies to consider seriously and why. Those leaders will fly to Fort Worth, TX today from every part of this country to take part in the process. They are part of our pragmatism test–to select the right combination of policies that can generate support and make a significant difference for all who live, work, and play in our nation’s metropolitan areas.
The role the committee plays is crucial to CityHealth’s goal of choosing evidence-based, effective policies for cities to pursue. These experts are invited to provide their best professional judgement, not an organizational endorsement.
This blog lays out what they will discuss and who will be at the table.
Choosing Our Policies
CityHealth rates the nation’s 40 largest cities based on their progress in adopting an evidence-based policy package. The goal is to provide city leaders with a pragmatic, achievable, yet aspirational, package of policies that could align with their city priorities and needs. This policy package is derived using a three-part criterion:
1) strong evidence-base of policies addressing the key social determinants of health;
2) within cities’ jurisdictional authority and precedent; and
3) analysis by a policy advisory committee representing key policy experts, partners, influencers, and community representatives.
The focus is exclusively on upstream policies that prevent health problems, not on medical treatment and care. The CityHealth package is not intended to be an exhaustive list, instead the project team selects a short list of policies that are ready to be adopted in the greatest number of cities with the most potential to improve people’s lives.
Policies were sorted into categories related to how they address the key factors that experts have shown influence health, along with key preventable causes of death and disability: education, environment, financial security, housing, nutrition, public safety, tobacco control and transportation.
Members of the CityHealth Policy Advisory Committee
The committee that advises the policy selection process is composed of national subject matter experts and others representing influential institutions and organizations nationwide. The group includes a mayor, a chamber of commerce representative, a public health dean, and other community leaders.
Find out more about our Policy Advisory Committee members joining us today in Fort Worth:
Steven Bosacker, Director, Urban & Regional Policy, German Marshall Fund
Steven Bosacker directs the GMF Cities program for the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). The urban portfolio supports local-level policymakers and practitioners in North America and Europe by facilitating the transatlantic exchange of knowledge for building inclusive, sustainable, and globally engaged cities. Until 2012, Bosacker served as the City Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis where he championed accountability and transparency in services across municipal government.
Jonathan Fielding, Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and of Pediatrics in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Dr. Fielding is currently a Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and of Pediatrics in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine at UCLA. Previously he served for 16 years as Public Health Director and Health Officer for Los Angeles County.
Having served as a founding member of the U.S. Clinical Preventive Services Task Force, Dr. Fielding currently chairs the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. He also served as Director and Chair of the Truth Initiative, dedicated to ending youth smoking. He chaired the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Healthy People 2020 objectives and is currently a Co-Chair for the Healthy People 2030 objectives. He was appointed by President Barak Obama to the National Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He also serves as a director of Shatterproof, the national non-profit fighting addiction.
Marla J. Gold, Professor and Dean Emerita, Health Management and Policy, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Marla J. Gold, is currently Dean Emerita and Professor of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health. Dr. Gold assumed the Deanship of the Drexel University School of Public Health in 2002. Under her leadership, the school became established as the first highly ranked, fully accredited School of Public Health in the greater Philadelphia region. Drexel has a longstanding commitment to issues of health equity, and an education, research, and practice focus on the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities.
Scott Hall, President for Strategic Initiatives, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Scott Hall works every day to make Greater Kansas City the best place to live, work, start and grow a business. In his role at the KC Chamber, Mr. Hall oversees the day-to-day work on The Big 5 regional strategies focusing on Kansas City’s most important issues. He also serves as the point person for Healthy KC, a regional health and wellness initiative lead by the KC Chamber and many of its community partners.
Rodney Harrell, Vice President, Livable Communities and Long-Term Services and Supports, AARP Public Policy Institute
Rodney Harrell is Vice President of Livable Communities and Long Term Services and Supports at AARP, leading AARP Public Policy Institute’s work in these areas. His research on housing preferences, neighborhood choice and community livability are integral to the world-renowned AARP Livability Index that measures every US neighborhood. He is also a speaker, researcher and blogger on livable communities issues and leads AARP’s Future of Housing work.
Patrice A. Harris, President, American Medical Association
Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, became the 174th president of the American Medical Association (AMA) in June 2019. She is the organization’s first African-American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate, and medical society lobbyist.
Dr. Harris currently spearheads the AMA’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic and has been chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since its inception in 2014. During her presidency, Dr. Harris will continue to lead the task force as it works across every state to eliminate barriers to treatment, provide patients with access to affordable, non-opioid pain care, and fight the stigma faced by those with substance use-disorders.
Genoveva Islas, Director, Cultiva La Salud
Genoveva Islas directs Cultiva La Salud, which works to address poor nutrition and physical inactivity in the San Joaquin Valley by creating healthier environments. Ms. Islas has extensive experience in obesity and chronic disease prevention She has also managed health education and cultural and linguistic services in the medical managed care arena. She has instructed at the junior college level and lectured in the California State University system.
Tyler Norris, Chief Executive, Well Being Trust
Tyler Norris is the Chief Executive of Well Being Trust, an impact philanthropy with a mission to advance the mental, social, and spiritual health of the nation. Over the past three decades, Tyler has shaped health and development initiatives in hundreds of communities in the US and around the world. He has an extensive background as a social entrepreneur, animateur, and trusted advisor to philanthropies, health systems, government agencies, and collaborative partnerships working to improve the health of people and places.
Betsy Price, Mayor, Fort Worth, TX
Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected in 2011 as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth. In 2017, she was re-elected for her fourth two-year term. As the 16th largest city in the U.S., Fort Worth remains one of the fastest growing large cities in the country. Along with her focus on promoting jobs, strengthening education, fighting crime, and improving mobility, Mayor Price has made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy, engaged, and fiscally responsible city.
Marta Tellado, CEO and President, Consumer Reports
Marta Tellado joined Consumer Reports in the fall of 2014 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Consumer Reports, the largest and most-trusted nonprofit consumer organization in the world. She has 25 years of experience as a frontline advocate in the consumer movement and leader for social justice. She is the organization’s eighth president since its founding in 1936.
We are honored to have these experts join us in our mission of creating stronger cities. This is an exciting time for CityHealth, and we would love to hear from you about what problems you are excited about solving in your city, and which policies you think will build healthier neighborhoods and better quality of life. Engage with us on Twitter at @city_health. To be the first to find out more about our new policy menu when we announce it in a few months, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Healthy cities are built when we all come together to join the conversation and forge a better path forward. Join us.