Partners: Implementing the National Prevention Strategy
The National Prevention Strategy encourages partnerships among federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; business, industry, and other private sector partners; philanthropic organizations; early learning centers, schools, colleges and universities; community and faith-based organizations; and individuals and families to improve health through prevention.
Since the release of the National Prevention Strategy, a growing number of state and local governments, professional organizations, and community groups are incorporating the Strategic Directions and Priorities into their policies and programs, as the following examples show:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation NewPublic Health
- NewPublicHealth spoke with Council members including Cabinet Secretaries, Agency directors and their designees about their prevention initiatives.
- The City of Chicago’s Healthy Chicago 2020 and the County of San Diego: Live Well San Diego! , both modeled after the Strategy.
- The National Association of Counties has endorsed the Strategy and supports its implementation across all levels of government and in communities.
- The National Association of County and City Health Officials and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials are developing tools to enhance implementation at state and local levels.
- The National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is aligning its priorities with the Strategy.
- The Institute of Medicine has released two reports, For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future and Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health , making recommendations that build upon the National Prevention Council’s efforts and the Strategy.
- The Rhode Island and Massachusetts legislatures are working to establish state prevention councils.
Together with the support of partners, the National Prevention Strategy will improve America’s health by creating healthy and safe communities, expanding clinical and community-based preventive services, empowering people to make healthy choices, and eliminating health disparities.
Who are the Partners in Prevention?
The federal government alone cannot create healthier communities. state, tribal, local, and territorial governments, businesses, health care, education, and community and faith-based organizations are all essential partners in this effort.
Roles that Partners Play
A wide range of actions contribute to and support prevention, ranging from a small business that produces and transports goods or services, to a community-based organization that provides job training for the unemployed, to the mother of young children who works to provide healthy foods and ensure they receive appropriate preventive clinical services. Partners play a variety of roles and, at their best, are trusted members of the communities and populations they serve. Opportunities for prevention increase when those working in housing, transportation, education, and other sectors also focus on health and wellness in their decision making. The following roles exemplify opportunities that partners can take to support prevention:
Individuals,organizations, and communities have a role in developing, implementing, and enforcing policies, laws, and regulations within their jurisdictions, whether they are states, cities, and communities, or work sites, schools, and recreation areas. Organizations can explicitly consider the potential health impact of policy options and choose to implement those policies that improve health. For example, a metropolitan planning organization can institutionalize the use of health criteria when making planning decisions on land use and design to provide opportunities for safe physical activity.
Individuals, agencies, and organizations purchase a variety of goods and services, such as food, vehicles, health insurance, and supplies, and some finance the construction of infrastructure projects, such as buildings and roads. They can use their purchasing power to promote health and wellness. For example, businesses can adopt policies to procure healthy foods.
Employers have the ability to implement policies and programs that foster health, wellness, and safety among their employees and these can be expanded. Evidence-based work-site employee wellness programs, including health-related programs and policies, can reduce health risks and improve the quality of life for millions of workers in the United States. For example, employers can provide tailored, confidential counseling to promote life skills, combat depression, address substance use problems, and enhance overall emotional well-being for employees.
Funding for research, programs, operations and infrastructure (e.g., roads) can be used to improve prevention. Organizations that provide financial support can encourage funding recipients to adhere to health principles and standards, leverage cross-sector collaboration, and support development of healthy communities. For example, state, tribal nation and local governments can incorporate recommendations for physical activity and standards for healthy eating into performance standards for schools and child care centers.
Data Collector and Researcher
Data and research can be used to strengthen implementation of the National Prevention Strategy. For example, a university can help demonstrate the business case for prevention and share these findings with corporate decision makers (e.g., board chairs, corporate officers). Further, researchers can work with communities providing data that presents a holistic community profile (e.g., community health status and data on transportation, recreation, labor, environment, and education), helping identify evidence-based strategies, and measuring progress.
Health Care Provider
Individuals and organizations that deliver health care services can implement policies and systems to support the delivery of high-impact clinical preventive services and enhance linkages between clinical and community prevention efforts. For example, a health care system can adopt a decision support system that prompts clinicians to deliver appropriate clinical preventive services to patients.
Communicator and Educator
Individuals and communities provide and receive information through many sources. Advertising, educational campaigns, informational websites, and trainings can raise awareness, provide people with knowledge and skills, and create supportive environments to help people make healthy decisions.