Health Service Policy - Assignment 3: Case Study

Instructor: Matt McClintock
If you have a College Accelerator membership and are seeking college credit for this course, you must submit all assignments and pass the proctored final exam. You must submit this assignment before completing final assignments and registering for the final. Below you will find instructions for submitting your assignment.

About this Assignment

Public health professionals depend on systematic data collection to develop evidence-based health policies to promote health and prevent disease at the population level. In this course, you have learned all about the basics of health services policy. You began with an introduction to public policy and the historical development of the healthcare system within the United States. You also became familiar with public health laws, the development and implementation of health policy, and the roles of research and public health science within the field of policy development.

For this assignment, imagine that you are a community member who wants to see a health initiative implemented in the community. Perhaps you are an elementary school teacher who wants physical education to be a mandatory part of the school day. Or, maybe you're a dentist who is concerned about the lack of fluoride in the city's drinking water. Your goal for this assignment is to draft a clear and concise health policy memo of at least 1,000 words to convince your audience to adopt your policy recommendations.

Assignment Steps

This is a two-step assignment.

Step 1: Select your position and your audience

First, you will have to decide your role within the community. Are you a school teacher? A concerned parent? A healthcare provider? After you've determined your role, think about a health initiative you would want implemented within the community. The sky's the limit when it comes to possible initiatives - be creative, and think back to all the lessons from this course! Finally, once you've crafted a potential initiative, determine who your audience is. Who has the power to make your initiative come to life? Is it the school district's board of directors? The local city council?

Step 2: Research and write

You've decided on your role, you've developed a potential initiative, and you know who it needs to be addressed to. Next, it's time to get started on drafting your policy memo. Remember the four main components of any policy memo:

  1. Define the problem by clearly explaining what the problem is, who is impacted by the problem, and why the problem is important. For example: Who is impacted by the lack of fluoride in the city's drinking water? Why is it important for all students to have mandatory physical education?
  2. State the policy by identifying specific actions that need to be taken to successfully address the problem. For example: What actions will the city need to take in order to add fluoride to the drinking water? What changes need to occur in order to make physical education a mandatory part of every school day?
  3. Make your case by using data, facts, and figures. This will be the heart of your memo and will require lots of research and analysis. Find the numbers that show why it's so important to include fluoride in the water. Analyze the information you find to explain the benefits of daily physical education!
  4. Finally, discuss how your policy will impact your community by analyzing both the pros and cons of the proposed policy. Wrap up your memo by explaining the positive impacts the policy will have, and anticipate and address any opposing arguments.

Using Sources

Along with relevant course materials, your policy memo must include at least three credible sources from outside the course. At least one source must be from a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. The sources must be cited using APA format and should include a mix of both primary and secondary sources.

As a reminder, primary sources are those that report on the original results of the experiment or study, while secondary sources include comments, discussions, or observations about primary sources. Make sure to assess any source you use for validity and reliability, whether they are primary or secondary. For example, Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source (although the sources listed in the articles may be reliable).

Please see the following lessons if you need a refresher on APA format:

Grading Rubric

Your case study will be graded based on the following rubric:

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