Birmingham Policy Surveillance Initiative

February 28, 2020, by Tessa Graham (Program Coordinator II, Office of Public Health Practice) and Sean McMahon (LHC Outreach Coordinator)


Two Ambitious Projects…

Policy Surveillance Project

While much public health policy is enacted at the state or federal level, US cities play a crucial role in implementing programs and polices that impact population health. Despite playing this role, there are few systems that track and seek to understand practices at this level. In 2017, the Urban Health Collaborative at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health initiated a Policy Surveillance Project (UHC PSP) that focused on urban centers with active policy debate.

DrexelLive HealthSmart

Live HealthSmart Alabama

According to America’s Health Rankings, Alabama ranks 46th in obesity, 48th in diabetes, and 49th in high blood pressure, among other poor health ranking metrics. This was the impetus for the winner of UAB’s Grand Challenge: Live HealthSmart Alabama. This initiative, led by Dr. Mona Fouad (Director, Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center), works “with businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, and non-profits in order to make changes to policies, systems, and build environment impacting the health of Alabamians.” Dr. Lisa McCormick (Associate Dean of Public Health Practice, UAB School of Public Health) is a collaborator on the Live HealthSmart team and assists them in their goals of transforming Alabama’s health and moving us out of the bottom ten in national health rankings. Live HealthSmart has chosen a team of collaborators from disciplines all across campus, allowing them to assess complex factors detrimental to the health of Alabamians.