Communicating Health Policy for action.
How might we better engage community leaders in supporting the Healthy Baltimore initiative?
Baltimore City was struggling to engage neighborhood leaders in their Healthy Baltimore initiative. A cornerstone of the initiative was hosting community meetings where health policy staff tried to get neighborhood leadership buy-in. In this meeting the policy officers helped leaders understand how their community was more at risk than others for certain types of diseases so that they could take a neighborhood specific approach to tackling the issue. This was important because health statistics varied across neighborhoods due to income, education level, and cultural habits.
My policy background allowed me to recognize a core problem that existed in how their statistics were being communicated. At the community meetings the department handed out complex spreadsheets that had to be studied closely in order to interpret what they meant. The solution that I created was an infographic (via a click through PDF) which instead communicated neighborhood health data comparisons quickly and clearly.