A Social Work Approach to Policy: Implications for Population Health

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The substantial disparities in health and poorer outcomes in the United States relative to peer nations suggest the need to refocus health policy.

Through direct contact with the most vulnerable segments of the population, social workers have developed an approach to policy that recognizes the importance of the social environment, the value of social relationships, and the significance of value-driven policymaking. This approach could be used to reorient health, health care, and social policies.

Accordingly, social workers can be allies to public health professionals in efforts to eliminate disparities and improve population health.

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