Health is influenced by a wide range of factors, many of which fall outside of the health care delivery sector. These determinants of health include, for example, the characteristics of how people live, work, learn, and play. Decision and policy making in areas such as transportation, housing, and education at different levels of government, and in the private sector, can have far-reaching impacts on health. Throughout the United States there has been increasing dialogue on incorporating a health perspective into policies, programs, and projects outside the health field.
Applying a Health Lens to Decision Making in Non-Health Sectors is the summary of a workshop convened in September 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Population Health Improvement to foster cross-sectoral dialogue and consider the opportunities for and barriers to improving the conditions for health in the course of achieving other societal objectives (e.g., economic development, efficient public transit). The roundtable engaged members, outside experts, and stakeholders on three core issues: supporting fruitful interaction between primary care and public health; strengthening governmental public health; and exploring community action in transforming the conditions that influence the public’s health. This report is a discussion of health in all policies approaches to promote consideration for potential health effects in policy making in many relevant domains, such as education, transportation, and housing.