American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, January 20, 2015
We describe a unique program, the Kansas Legislative Health Academy, that brings together state legislators from across the political spectrum to build their capacity in advancing policies that can improve the health of Kansans.
To that end, the academy helps legislators develop new skills to deliberate the ethics of health policy, use systems thinking to understand the long- and short-term effects of policy action and inaction, and engage in acts of civic leadership. The academy also seeks to foster an environment of respectful open dialogue and to build new cross-chamber and cross-party relationships.
Among the most important outcomes cited by program participants is the value of sustained, personal interaction and problem solving with individuals holding differing political views. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 20, 2015: e1–e5. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302333)