Prevention in Action
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.