Health is created in the places where we live, work, learn, and play. Our ability to make healthy choices is dictated by the conditions of those places. Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change can influence health by changing the conditions within communities– making the healthy choice the easy choice. PSE changes often stretch beyond the benefits of programs to create population level impacts.
Explore the rich set of resources below to help to grow your community’s capacity to understand and advance policy, systems, and environmental change.
Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Overview
PSE 101: Building Healthier Communities through Policy, Systems and Environmental Change
Moving from Programs to Policy, Systems, and Environmental Changes
What is Policy, Systems and Environmental Change (PSE)?
Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change Resource Guide
Partnering4Health: Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Approach to
Improving Access to Healthy Food and Beverage Through Community Food Systems
Policies are written statements created and adopted by organizations, agencies, and stakeholders intended to achieve specific health goals. Policy change is a tool used by communities across the country to improve population health by advancing initiatives that can affect the behaviors of entire populations more efficiently than other tools. For example, a policy that places restrictions on unhealthy food and beverage marketing in schools reduces exposure and consumption of unhealthy food in school cafeterias.
5 Ways Public Policy Impacts Health
Getting Started with Policy Change
Worksheet: Getting Started with Policy
Increasing Fresh Produce in Kansas City, MO via Urban Agriculture
Utah New Roots Food Access Program
System change involves transforming and redesigning the practices and structures within organizations, institutions or networks to promote better health outcomes. System change addresses problems on a fundamental level and often works hand-in-hand with policy change. An example of a systems change is the creation of a Farm-to-School initiative that creates processes to rebuild healthy food systems in school by serving local produce in the cafeteria and instituting food education opportunities in the classroom.
Systems: Action for PSE Change
Community Approaches to Systems Change
Food Procurement as an Opportunity to Improve Local Food Systems
Environmental change involves transforming the economic, social, or physical contexts in the lived-environment that affect health outcomes. Environmental change strategies are often used in conjunction with other strategies to improve population health. An example of an environmental change would be to increase the number of community garden plots on vacant land to grow community engagement and improve food security.
Physical Environment: County Health Rankings Model
How does where we live, work, and play affect our health?
What impact does the environment have on us?
Community Success Stories: Rural residents find grassroots solutions to life in a food desert
Authors: Robyn Garratt (Institute for People, Place, and Possibility) and Stacy Wegley (Community Initiatives)