When it comes to addressing big challenges, sometimes we need a dose of inspiration. Other times we want a way forward. And at certain critical moments, we require both. ASPHN’s Checklist for Change rises to the critical challenge before us — a national vegetable and fruit consumption crisis that is costing us our health and well-being.
An ASPHN Leadership Call for Innovation
The Checklist for Change stems from ASPHN’s Call to Action on Vegetable and Fruit Access and Consumption, which was released in April 2022. The Call to Action reads in part, “We recognize we cannot continue to implement the same strategies in the same ways in the hope of achieving a different outcome.”
This intensely honest and introspective declaration was the culmination of months-long dialogue and analysis by ASPHN’s board of directors. It was also an inflection point. The board recognized the need for strong leadership on this issue. It also understood that if the public health crisis before us was going to be curtailed or even reversed, the Association and its members needed to chart a new course.
An ASPHN member workgroup was formed to develop recommendations on new approaches to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Armed with data, experience, fresh thinking and resolve, the workgroup delivered a varied and insightful list of suggestions, which were used to develop the Checklist for Change.
Combining Clear Strategies with Actionable Tactics
The checklist combines the best of strategic thinking by listing five concrete strategies that can be undertaken. It also offers the best of divergent thinking by presenting a series of novel and actionable tactics that can be deployed under each strategy.
The result is a clear and thought-provoking list that provides different angles and vantage points from which to approach our work, allowing us to pick and choose which strategies and tactics might work best in our communities. It also offers a path for addressing other challenges we may be facing in public health nutrition.
Inspiring Next-Level Work
The Checklist for Change encourages us to question and dispel rigid assumptions and biases that may be interfering with the job at hand. It centers our work in equity, practicality and sustainability. It inspires innovation through out-of-the-box, creative thinking. And it encourages us to partner with and leverage other sciences and disciplines which can inform, enhance and strengthen our work. Most importantly, it recognizes that one profession alone cannot solve this crisis. We must look beyond the confines of public health for answers to a complex and multifaceted issue.
You can print or download the Checklist for Change from ASPHN’s Call to Action webpage. We encourage all members to share a copy of the checklist with their departments, colleagues, community partners and others. We also want to know how you’re putting it to use in your work. Please share your ideas with us through this form.