Voices for Healthy Kids

Voices for Healthy Kids debuts MG-designed tool to help policy advocates increase health equity

Public policies designed to advance health equity can actually have the opposite effect if they don’t include a key element: language in the bill itself that prioritizes implementation where the need is greatest. Without this, communities that have historically lacked power to realize policy benefits continue to be left behind. Instead of creating health equity, the gap widens.

Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, advances policies to help make each day healthier for all kids, wants more policies to include this specific language. Its grantees asked for help making the case with decision-makers. MG explored, through research and extensive testing, values-based messages that advance this conversation with decision-makers on both sides of the aisle.

The messaging guide was debuted  in a presentation at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, and is now available for advocates across the country to download and use. Our testing focused specifically on health-focused policies, but the insights will be relevant for advocates working on all types of public policy that will be stronger if implementation starts where the need is greatest.