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Policies, Systems & Environment (PSE)

Policies, Systems & Environment (PSE)


Policy, systems and environmental change is a way of modifying the environment to make healthy choices practical and available to all community members. By changing laws and shaping physical landscapes, a big impact can be made with little time and resources. By changing policies, systems and/or environments, communities can help tackle health issues like obesity, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.

PSE change approaches are an important part of the SNAP-Ed program. In the state of Washington, we are working to coordinate efforts across the state to include PSE strategies in the work we do.

Friday Forums-FFY2019

The Curriculum Team is excited to share a series of interactive video conference calls to discuss successes and challenges with PSE work.  FNS encourages the use of PSE strategies in conjunction with direct education.  The work we are doing with Systems Approaches to Healthy Communities has helped to strengthen a common understanding of PSE work and we would like to extend that learning with these calls.

Many of you have let us know you want to hear from other SNAP-Ed providers about PSE strategies being used in local communities. These calls will provide a place where we can all meet, ask questions and continue to build the very best SNAP-Ed program possible.  You can join any or all the calls via your computer or telephone.  The calls will be led by Terry Perry and Jen Hey.

Below is the list of topics, dates and conference links for the first three calls.   We would also love to hear from you if you have topics to add.  Send us an email to: SNAP-Ed CTW Team and let us know what you want to talk about on a Friday Forum.

We know folks on the calls will have a wealth of information to share and we look forward to learning from educators across the state.

Topic: Integrating Physical Activity (PA) into SNAP-Ed

The first Friday Forum was centered around physical activity and how to best incorporate it into the WA SNAP-Ed program.  Discussion topics include: new guidelines for PA in schools, activities that can be done in a variety of settings, opportunities to engage community partners and policies that help increase PA.


Here is the recording of the forum:

Here are the Power Point Slides:

Here are links to a number of resources that may help SNAP-Ed educators implement and extend PA in programming :

Topic: School and Community Gardens and SNAP-Ed

Discussion Topics:

  • Master Gardeners and other volunteer programs in garden establishment and maintenance.
  • Activities to link the classroom and the school garden.
  • Policies to allow garden produce to be used in the school or summer feeding programs.
  • Extending the school gardens to the home.
  • Gardening in affordable housing sites.
  • Grow a Row Campaigns.

Topic: Farmers Markets and Increasing Access to Locally Grown Food

Discussion Topics:

  • Activities to support promotion of SNAP, SFMNP and other FMNP benefits as well as incentive programs.
  • Assisting Farm Stands and smaller markets with eligibility for SNAP and other benefits.
  • Partnering with local WIC providers on WIC distribution days.
  • Engaging kids and families at the market.

Here are the Power Point slides:

We had difficulty in the recording of this forum. Please contact Terry Perry: for information on the presentation.


PSE Training

Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities is a web-based, professional development program available to all staff involved in the Washington State SNAP-Ed program. It promotes the integration of policy, systems, and environmental interventions with educational strategies.

The program is designed to help all of us better understand:

  • Basic terminology related to PSE work.
  • Examples of systems-thinking including the Social-Ecological Model, Spectrum of Prevention and PSE concepts.
  • Skills to expand our program across many level to impact policies, systems, and environments.
  • Strategies and tools for strengthening engagement, communicating with partners, and understanding community context.

For more details on the program content, including learning objectives, download the Systems Approaches for Healthy Communities program summary (.pdf).


It is the expectation of DSHS that anyone involved with the Washington State SNAP-Ed program will register and complete all five modules of the Systems Approaches program. We will have access to this training until April, 2019. Please register and complete all modules if you have not already done so.

Login (Returning Users)

Login for Systems Approaches Modules
After signing in, users will be automatically directed to the module dashboard.

Registration (New Users)

Register for the Systems Approaches to Healthy Communities program

Steps from Registration Guide:

To register for the course:

  1. Click here.
  2. Click the plus (+) sign next to “Organizational participants register for the program” (towards the bottom of the page.)
  3. Download the Organizational Participant Step by Step Instructions(PDF) and then click on the maroon “Register as a Participant” button.
  4. Follow the instructions to create an account, which you will use to log in to the course site.
  5. After creating an account, you will be able to go to use your new account information to access the course site.

Once you have completed the registration and have logged into the course site, you may begin completing the modules at your convenience.