Policy Briefs

Have an idea for a health policy brief? SBM's Health Policy Committee wants to hear from you. Just fill out this form.


Featured Brief

Curbing Summertime Weight Gain among America’s Youth

SBM recommends school officials, community leaders, and legislators adopt policies that enhance youth summer programming to minimize the amount of weight children gain over the summer. Policies should encourage school-community partnerships, family outreach, joint use of facilities, and adherence to healthy eating and physical activity standards. The brief is endorsed by the National Summer Learning Association.

Read the position statement.

View the infographic.

Summer Weight Gain Brief Summer Weight Gain Infographic


Archived Briefs by Topic

Community Health Workers
Pain Management
Physical Activity
Violence Prevention


Encourage Lung Cancer Screening in High-Risk Populations

SBM calls for increased lung cancer screening for high risk patients, to reduce cancer deaths. Screening is recommended for those who are 55-80 years of age; have no current cancer symptoms; smoke currently or quit within the last 15 years; and have a 30 pack-year smoking history. Legislators should support the integration of evidence-based tobacco treatment into screening programs, and should increase funding for screening and research. Health care providers should integrate evidence-based tobacco treatment into screening, reduce screening barriers, and counsel patients about the potential benefits and harms associated with screening. The brief is endorsed by the American College of Radiology and the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. [Read more>>] [View our infographic>>]

Increase HPV Vaccination Uptake: An Urgent Opportunity for Cancer Prevention

SBM calls for increased human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates to prevent cancer. The vaccination is recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds. Legislators should advocate for vaccine insurance coverage and adequate provider reimbursement. Health care providers should treat HPV vaccination as a routine vaccination, and should use culturally appropriate communication strategies to educate patients and parents about the vaccine’s importance, effectiveness, and safety. The brief is endorsed by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine. [Read more>>] [View our infographic>>]

Emerging Policy Issues Regarding Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: A Need for Regulation

SBM supports stronger regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes), incorporation of electronic nicotine delivery systems into clean air policies, and special consideration of product safety standards to protect vulnerable populations. [Read more>>]

Support the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s Call to Action to Reach 80% Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates by 2018

In response to the significant colorectal cancer (CRC) burden and persistent underutilization of screening, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s 80% by 2018 initiative sets an important goal for CRC screening in older Americans. SBM supports 80% by 2018 and encourages policymakers and health care providers to implement the recommendations outlined by the initiative. [Read more>>]

Community Health Workers

Integrate Community Health Workers into the Patient-Centered Medical Home

SBM supports expanding the use of community health workers to enhance primary care, prevention, and chronic disease management programs within patient-centered medical homes to improve patient outcomes and reduce unnecessary utilization of resources. [Read more>>]

Integrate Peer Support in Prevention and Health Care Under the Affordable Care Act

SBM recommends the inclusion of community health workers and other providers of peer support as a regular part of prevention and routine care. This brief is co-authored with the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, National Council of La Raza, and Peers for Progress. [Read more>>]


Expand U.S. Health Plan Coverage for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

SBM encourages legislation and other policies that require Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to reimburse for diabetes self-management education and that support 12 hours each year for everyone with diabetes. [Read more>>]


Enact Taxes on Sugary Drinks to Prevent Chronic Disease

Consumption of sugary drinks has a detrimental effect on public health by increasing risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes,2 coronary heart disease, and fatty liver disease. Sugary drinks are the largest single source of added sugars in the United States, and account for almost half of all added sugars consumed in the United States. [Read more>>] [View our inforgraphic>>]

Retain Healthy School Lunch Policies

SBM supports the retention of the current school lunch standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. SBM further recommends that schools promote traditional and innovative nutrition education formats, repeatedly encourage the consumption of healthful foods, and make small environmental changes in lunchrooms to make more healthful eating accessible, attractive, and normative. [Read more>>]

Pain Management

Improving Access to Psychosocial Care for Individuals with Persistent Pain: Supporting the National Pain Strategy Call for Interdisciplinary Pain Care

Persistent pain is common, expensive, and debilitating, yet is often inadequately assessed and treated. Growing concerns regarding prescription opioid misuse/abuse and opioid-related fatalities have initiated a re-evaluation of the long-term efficacy and potential risks of opioids in the management of pain. [Read more>>] [View our infographic>>]

Physical Activity

Increase United States Health Plan Coverage for Exercise Programming in Community Mental Health Programs for People with Serious Mental Illness

SBM encourages legislation and policies for Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to reimburse exercise programming for people with serious mental illness treated in community mental health programs. This brief is co-authored with the American College of Sports Medicine. [Read more>>]

Early Care and Education Policies Can Impact Obesity Prevention among Preschool-Aged Children

SBM recommends early care and education settings provide healthy foods in age-appropriate portions; increase physical activity during childcare hours to as close to 120 minutes per day as possible; decrease sedentary behavior to no more than 30 minutes at a time; and decrease entertainment screen time in childcare to less than 30 minutes weekly. [Read more>>]

School-Based Physical Activity Improves Academic Achievement

SBM recommends elementary schools provide as many of the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during school hours as possible. [Read more>>]

Support Robust, Well-Designed, Safe and Accessible Community Parks

Considerable research shows people of all ages and across all races and ethnicities are more active when they can access parks. Park use also facilitates a healthy weight status. [Read more>>]

Violence Prevention

Restore CDC Funding for Firearms and Gun Violence Prevention Research

Firearms injuries are the leading cause of non-medical deaths in America, surpassing motor vehicle accidents for the first time in history1. Data from five years of CDC statistics estimate that 91 Americans are killed every day by gun violence, over 33,000 deaths per year. [Read More>>] [View our infographic]