"Health in All Policies": taking stock of emerging practices to incorporate health in decision making in the United States

J Public Health Manag Pract. Nov-Dec 2013;19(6):529-40. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182980c6e.


Objective: Policies affecting the determinants of health lie largely outside the control of the health care and public health sectors. Ensuring health considerations in the formation and implementation of policies, programs, projects, and plans from all sectors, though lofty, is the overall aim of Health in All Policies. The purpose of this article was to identify categories of strategies that illustrate how Health in All Policies had been implemented in the United States.

Design: We used a 3-phased process: (1) review of the published and gray literature; (2) analysis of case examples to identify a draft framework, which included tactics and strategies for implementing Health in All Policies; and (3) vetting the draft framework through individual and group consultation.

Results: We identify 7 interrelated strategies for incorporating health considerations into decisions and systems: (1) developing and structuring cross-sector relationships; (2) incorporating health into decision-making processes; (3) enhancing workforce capacity; (4) coordinating funding and investments; (5) integrating research, evaluation and data systems; (6) synchronizing communications and messaging; and (7) implementing accountability structures. For each strategy, we provide illustrative examples from the United States to help public health leaders identify effective tactics for Health in All Policies implementation.

Conclusions: Through our review, we offer a starting point for categorizing and describing the emerging practices used to work across sectors and address the determinants of health. By delineating the different types of strategies and tactics to achieve Health in All Policies, we provide public health practitioners with a "menu" of options for incorporating Health in All Policies into their work.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Health Policy*
  • Public Health Practice*
  • United States