Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

About the Prevention Status Reports

The Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) highlight—for all 50 states and the District of Columbia—the status of public health policies and practices designed to address the following important public health problems and concerns:

How the Reports Are Organized

Each report follows a simple framework:

  • Describe the public health problem using public health data
  • Identify potential solutions to the problem drawn from research and expert recommendations
  • Report the status of those solutions for each state and the District of Columbia

Problem then SOlutions then Status

How the PSR Policies and Practices Were Selected

The policies and practices reported in the PSRs were selected because they

  • Can be monitored using state-level data that are readily available for most states and the District of Columbia, and
  • Meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • Supported by systematic review(s) of scientific evidence of effectiveness (e.g., The Guide to Community Preventive Services)
    • Explicitly cited in a national strategy or national action plan (e.g., Healthy People 2020)
    • Recommended by a recognized expert body, panel, organization, study, or report with an evidence-based focus (e.g., Institute of Medicine)


The reports use a simple, three-level rating scale—green, yellow, or red(—to provide a practical assessment of the status of policies and practices in each state and the District of Columbia.

It is important to note that the ratings reflect the status of policies and practices and do not reflect the status of efforts of state health departments, other state agencies, or any other organization to establish or strengthen those policies or practices. Strategies for improving public health vary by contextual factors in each state, such as public health priorities, disease burden, resources, and other challenges.

Related Reports and Analyses

The Guide to Community Preventive Services 
A compilation of the evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force showing what works to improve health

Community Health Status Indicators
An interactive CDC web application that produces health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States

County Health Rankings 
A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute examining the health and well-being of people living in nearly every county in the United States

America’s Health Rankings 
An annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by state basis published jointly by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association, and Partnership for Prevention

Trust for America’s Health 
Data on key health indicators and other indicators for each state and the District of Columbia

Healthy People 2020 
Science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans

CDC Vital Signs(
Recent data and calls to action for important public health issues