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

What Works in Public Health

When you want to know what works, look for evidence.

That’s the job of the national experts of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) as they identify the strategies that work to reduce the impact of some of the most challenging health issues facing the country.

Task Force recommendations are important in helping policymakers, public health partners, businesses, schools and service organizations around the country make healthy changes and improve quality of life. The Task Force has provided over 200 recommendations that improve health and help reduce economic burdens from disease and injury.

Some recent important recommendations include:

  • Using school-based health centers in low-income communities to improve educational and health outcomes including increasing rates of high school completion and immunizations and increasing use of health preventive services.
  • Employing behavioral screen time interventions to prevent childhood obesity which result in reduced time spent viewing TV and other screen media, increased physical activity and improvements to diet.
  • Engaging community health workers in a team-based care model to prevent cardiovascular disease by providing health education, outreach and patient navigation for patients at increased risk of heart disease.

All Task Force recommendations are available at the Guide to Community Preventive Services website, the official collection of systematic reviews, findings and recommendations.  For more information visit:

The Task Force is an independent, nonfederal, unpaid group of public health experts, conducts detailed reviews of scientific studies on health topics. Task Force members are appointed by the Director of CDC and represent a broad range of research, practice and policy expertise in preventive services and public health.

The Task Force works with partners and stakeholders at local, state and federal levels. Representatives from organizations and agencies (Task Force Liaisons) help identify or serve as experts for reviews, share ideas and concerns of their organizations, and provide information on how Task Force findings were put into action. CDC program staff participate in reviews and promote the use of Task Force findings. CDC also provides ongoing research and technical assistance.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286


Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD

“Our partners play a critical role in ensuring Task Force recommendations and other findings are usable and relevant to the work the partners are doing among their constituents. We encourage our partners to engage with CDC staff and the Task Force during Task Force meetings to ensure that the Task Force fully understands the needs of their target audiences, and to help the Task Force promote what works to improve health in communities across the U.S.”

Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD – Branch Chief, Community Guide Branch Division of Public Health Information Dissemination, Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services

Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA

“The Task Force is committed to bringing forth the strongest evidence to help communities make critical decisions as they implement interventions. We will continue to work with our partners to make the best decisions to save lives, increase the length of people’s lives, and improve quality of life for Americans.”

Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA – Chair, Task Force on Community Preventive Services