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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.

New–Friday Forums!

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 Curriculum 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

January 18, 2019; 9:30 am

Topic: School and Community Gardens and SNAP-Ed

March 15, 2019; 9:30 am

Topic: Farmers Markets and Increasing Access to Locally Grown Food

May 24, 2019; 9:30 am

Video Conference Link:

Discussion Topics:

  • New guidelines for PA for schools.
  • Share CATCH activities that can be used in a variety of settings.
  • Share opportunities for engaging community partners for PA initiatives.
  • Examples of easy, short PA breaks to use in schools and community settings.
  • Policy examples (Recess before lunch, Safe Routes to School, etc.) that increase PA.

Video Conference Link:

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.

Video Conference Link:

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.



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 How-to Guide for Registration Process (.pdf)

Steps from Registration Guide:

  • Page 1 – Select “Register as a Participant”
  • Page 2 – Register as a new user for the university
  • Page 3 – Fill in personal information
  • Page 4 – Confirm information
  • Page 5 – Select “Register as a Participant” drop down, then select “continue”
  • Page 6 – Select “Washington State SNAP-Ed” from drop down menu, then select “continue”
  • Page 7 – Read privacy policy and complete registration
  • Page 8 – Log into course website at
  • Page 9 – View the “Course Demo: How to Use this Site video for information on how to navigate 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.