Region 2 Public Health Training Center

An Overview of the Policy Process in Public Health and the Need for Systems Thinking

This is an all levels course offering CHES and CPH — Free
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Time to Start

< 3 minutes


1.00 hour


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Engaging in policy making is an essential activity of public health agencies and staff to achieve the goals of Public Health 3.0 and to work collaboratively to address the social determinants of health. This training provides an overview of the policy making process as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, draws on the COVID-19 and other complex public health problems to discuss the challenges commonly faced by public health agencies during this policy process, and makes the case for using a systems thinking approach to overcome these policy roadblocks and address unintended consequences.


This learning opportunity topic is aligned with one or more of the strategic skills.  

This learning opportunity addresses training topics identified in PHWINS 2017.

What You'll Learn

  • Explain the role of policy engagement in public health
  • Describe how policy is understood in a Public Health 3.0 context
  • Define the role of a public health agency in policy making
  • List ways that systems thinking concepts and tools can strengthen the policy process

Competency Terms

Policy Development & Support
Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
Policy, Program, & Service Development
External Policies, Programs, & Services
Community Input
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
Partner Collaboration
Leadership & Systems Thinking Skills
Systems Thinking

Related Occupations

Department/Bureau Director
Deputy Director
Health Officer
Other Management & Leadership
Program Director
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit
Public Health Agency Director
Public Health Manager/Program Manager
Social Worker
Student - Professional & Scientific

Related Job Tasks

Develop community partnerships
Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
Develop public policy or regulations