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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 (CPSTF) as they identify the strategies that work to reduce the impact of some of the most challenging health issues facing the country.

CPSTF recommendations are important in helping decision makers, public health partners, businesses, schools and service organizations around the country make healthy changes and improve quality of life. The CPSTF has issued more than 200 recommendations that improve health and safety and also help reduce economic burdens from disease and injury.

Some recent important recommendations include:

Interventions engaging community health workers to improve diabetes self-management
Text messaging interventions to improve diet among patients with chronic diseases
Meal and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages provided by schools

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

Established in 1996 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the CPSTF is an independent, nonfederal panel of public health and prevention experts whose members are appointed by the director of CDC. The CPSTF provides information for a wide range of persons who make decisions about programs, services, and other interventions to improve population health.

The CPSTF works with partners and stakeholders at local, state, and federal levels. Representatives from organizations and agencies (CPSTF Liaisons) help identify or serve as experts for reviews, share ideas and concerns of their organizations, and provide information on how CPSTF findings are put into action. CDC provides administrative, scientific, dissemination, and technical support for the CPSTF.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286


Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD


“Our partners play a critical role in ensuring CPSTF 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 Community Guide Branch staff and the CPSTF while the CPSTF is deliberating its findings and recommendations to ensure that the CPSTF fully understands the needs of their target audiences, and to help the CPSTF promote what works to improve health in communities across the United States.”

Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD – Chief – Community Guide Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Director – Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide)

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