Promoting policy and environmental change using photovoice in the Kaiser Permanente Community Health Initiative

Health Promot Pract. 2010 May;11(3):332-9. doi: 10.1177/1524839909341555. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Creative ways must be found to engage both community residents and political leaders around policy and environmental solutions to public health issues. Photovoice is a community-based, participatory approach to documentary photography that provides people with training on photography, ethics, critical discussion, and policy advocacy. Photovoice projects have been implemented across the nation as part of Kaiser Permanente's Community Health Initiative-a community-based obesity prevention effort. This article focuses on the first Photovoice project implemented in three communities in Colorado. Photovoice themes related to healthy eating and active living include a lack of access to healthy food choices in stores and schools, unsafe street crossings and sidewalks, and the need to redevelop certain areas to encourage safe recreation. The involvement of policy leaders in the project combined with several dissemination activities has contributed to healthier food offerings in schools and neighborhoods and city planning efforts that emphasize walkability and access to healthy food, and park revitalization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colorado
  • Community Health Services
  • Community Networks*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Consumer Advocacy*
  • Environment Design
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Photography*
  • Policy Making
  • Safety