Systems Thinking and Public Health

The purpose of this assignment is to recognize the complex hierarchy and levels of systems and apply practical and innovative systems thinking approaches to improve a public health issue. For this assignment, you will examine the relationship between governmental and nongovernmental entities in addressing health concerns.


Begin by reviewing the Healthy People website. On the site, select one of the leading health indicators (LHI) that are being addressed in your community.

Next, analyze how this issue is being addressed in your community by both governmental and nongovernmental entities.

In your analysis, do the following:

  • Identify and summarize the leading health indicator and public health issue you chose, explaining what makes it a public health issue and supporting your argument with data.
  • Analyze the system-level barriers to program implementation and success for a public health intervention. How do existing policies promote or impede health outcomes?
  • Describe a system-level intervention you would like to put in place to address the issue. What policies could improve health outcomes? What systemic changes would be needed to support those policies?
  • Evaluate the role cultural values and practices play in the success or failure of interventions.
  • Identify the potential participants in an inter-professional team who might be involved in the intervention that you propose.
  • Analyze how the inter-professional team might be involved in the intervention and why the team is important. 
  • Create a Causal Loop Diagram as a visual aid that demonstrates the system-level complexities of your intervention.
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