State legislatures across the country must make health policy and financing decisions regarding access to care, health status, and insurance coverage, all of which impact their constituents. The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) has been offering objective information on health policy, financing, and insurance coverage to the Georgia General Assembly for two decades. Since 2008, GHPC has offered a unique legislative education initiative, applying systems thinking to state health policymaking.
Legislative Health Policy Certificate Program
The Legislative Health Policy Certificate Program (LHPCP) was designed by GHPC to prepare state legislators and staff to address the complex health issues before them. Members of the Georgia General Assembly completing three of the sessions receive a certificate from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies and are recognized by their respective legislative body. The program consists of four sessions:
- Evaluating Health Policy from a Systems Thinking Perspective: Why Health Matters to Our State
- Health Financing: Challenges and Opportunities
- Health Coverage, Access to Care, and Prevention
- Special Health Topics (may include childhood obesity, behavioral health, Georgia’s trauma care system, and public health)
Advanced Health Policy Institute
GHPC created the Advanced Health Policy Institute in 2012 to further refine legislators’ skills in creating high-leverage solutions for adaptive health policy challenges. This two-part series is open to legislators and staff who previously attended the certificate program. Attendees received additional content information focused on:
- Health care financing
- Issue framing
- Systems thinking
- Conversational capacity
To date 157 legislators and staff have attended the LHPCP with 62 of the participating legislators and staff continuing on to attend the Advanced Health Policy Institute. The certificate program serves as a national model for encouraging legislators to engage in a broader, more systemic approach to health policymaking.