Isett Wins Top Publishing Honor from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors

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  • Kim Isett Kim Isett

Isett, Laugesen and Cloud's Case Study of Public Health Policy Practice in the Bloomberg Administration won the top honor publishing award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors.

The objective of the case study produced by Kimberley Roussin Isett, PhD, MPA; Miriam J. Laugesen, PhD; David H. Cloud, JD, MPH was to ascertain any lessons learned about how public health reforms undertaken in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration were shepherded through the public policy and administration gauntlet. The question is, how feasible is this approach and would it work outside of New York City?

The theoretically grounded case study approach examined 3 initiatives that were proposed and/or implemented during a 10-year period of the Mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg (2002-2011): 1) transfats restrictions, 2) clean bus transportation policies, and 3) a sugar-sweetened beverages tax (as a counterfactual). The investigation began by performing a comprehensive public documents search and was followed with interviews of 27 individuals involved in the selected policy initiatives. Interviews were coded in Nvivo using an iterative, grounded methodology.

The results through a theoretical lens illustrates that the multifaceted role of leadership was not confined to the executives in the City or the Agency. Instead, leadership extended to other administrative officials within the agency and the Board of Health. Second, New York City used reorganization and coordinative mechanisms strategically to ensure achievement of their goals. This included creation of new departments/bureaus and coordinating structures across the City. And evidence of the explicit use of incentives, as initially anticipated from the theoretical framework, was not found.

The conclusions revealed that while some aspects of this case study are unique to the context of New York City, 2 approaches used in New York City are feasible for other jurisdictions: harnessing the full scope and breadth of authority of the agency and its associated boards and commissions, and remobilizing existing workforce to explicitly focus on and coordinate targeted policies for issues of concern.

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