The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) recognizes that communities’ health issues are often multifaceted in origin and require new ways of thinking and acting, in productive dialogue with a broad range of stakeholders. Systems thinking is an effective approach to design high-leverage interventions to address the most stubborn health policy issues.
Systems thinking acknowledges that a set of interconnected factors underlie most of the complex issues we face in population health. By identifying these elements and their connections, policymakers can overcome siloed thinking to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the system and identify high-leverage opportunities for significant and lasting change.
Systems thinking is at the root of the Georgia Health Policy Center’s (GHPC’s) work in health in all policies, health system transformation, and legislative education. GHPC uses systems thinking tools as an aid to foster critical thinking and multistakeholder conversations. These tools include:
- Behavior-over-time charts
- Stock and flow diagrams
- Causal loop diagrams
- System dynamics models
- Systems Thinking Fact Sheet
- GHPC brief: A Systems Approach to the Opioid Epidemic
- Manteuffel, B., Alderman, L. A., Branscomb, J., & Minyard, K. J. (2019). Systems Thinking and the Opioid Epidemic in Georgia. In J. C. Butler & M. R. Fraser (Eds.), A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. View.
- Lawler, K., Landers, G. M., Minyard, K. J., Fuller, K. W., & Branscomb, J. (2018). Using Systems Tools to Advance Collective Impact. In W. & Weaver (Ed.), Using Collective Impact to Bring Community Change (pp. 92–110). View.
- Calancie, L., Anderson, S., Branscomb, J., Apostolico, A., & Lich, K. H. (2018). Using Behavior over Time Graphs to Spur Systems Thinking Among Public Health Practitioners. Preventing Chronic Disease. Published. View.
- Powell, K. E., Kibbe, D. L., Ferencik, R., Soderquist, C., Phillips, M. A., Vall, E. A., & Minyard, K. J. (2017). Systems thinking and simulation modeling to inform childhood obesity policy and practice. Public Health Reports, 132(2_suppl), 33S-38S. View.
- Minyard, K. J., Ferencik, R., Ann Phillips, M., & Soderquist, C. (2014). Using systems thinking in state health policymaking: an educational initiative. Health systems, 3(2), 117-123. View.
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