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-managementExternal
Text messaging interventions to improve diet among patients with chronic diseasesExternal
Meal and fruit and vegetable snack interventions to increase healthier foods and beverages provided by schoolsExternal

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: www.thecommunityguide.orgExternal.

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.

Community Guide Task Force

CPSTF members with CDC leadership, October 2017

Safety belt and child safety seat use increased on the Hopi Tribe Reservation in northeast Arizona thanks to the Hopi Tribal Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program (TMVIPP). The program was developed using motor vehicle prevention strategies recommended by the Task Force.

The Hopi Tribe Reservation in northeast Arizona used motor vehicle prevention strategies recommended by the Task Force to develop the Tribal Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program (TMVIPP) to increase the use of safety belts and child safety seats.

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People in San Diego, California, participate in an exercise class offered by Familias Sanas y Activas (Healthy and Active Families), a free physical activity program. The San Diego Prevention Research Center (SDPRC) provides the program to improve the health of Latinos in the community. The program offers close to 50 exercise classes each week with evaluations for blood pressure, weight and heart rate. Program participants experienced a decrease in blood pressure and weight. “Using Task Force findings made it easier for us to make decisions about the program, its design, structure and content,†says Guadalupe X. Ayala, co-director for the SDPRC.

“Using Task Force findings made it easier for us to make decisions about the program, its’ design, structure and content,” says Guadalupe X. Ayala, co-director for the San Diego Prevention Research Center (SDPRC) which developed the Familias Sanas y Activas (Healthy and Active Families), a free physical activity program.

Residents of Granville County in rural North Carolina walk on one of several walking trails developed through the Granville Greenways Master Plan initiative. The plan includes walking trails between schools, worksites, shopping areas and neighborhoods. Using the recommendations of the Task Force, the county created a plan to build more walkable communities to reduce obesity and promote active lifestyles.

Using the recommendations of the Task Force, Granville County in rural North Carolina created a plan to build more walkable communities to reduce obesity and promote active lifestyles.

A physician and health care worker review an electronic screening system used at the Community Cancer Screening Program. The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia used Task Force recommendations to help develop a cancer screening program for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. The program’s goal is to reduce cancer-related disparities in medically underserved Baker County. The program pilot started in Baker County and expanded to 12 primary care clinics serving more than 25 counties in South Georgia.

The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia used Task Force recommendations to help develop their Community Cancer Screening Program with an electronic screening system for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

“The Task Force findings served as a foundation and a resource to continue developing robust, evidence-based health promotion programs for the IBM population,” said Michele Alphonse, Senior Advisor in IBM’s Integrated Health Services group. Over 13,000 employees averaged 8,800 steps per day with the company’s Active Track Program.

“The Task Force findings served as a foundation and a resource to continue developing robust, evidence-based health promotion programs for the IBM population,” said Michele Alphonse, Senior Advisor in IBM’s Integrated Health Services group. Over 13,000 employees averaged 8,800 steps per day with the company’s Active Track Program.

Health-related policy and environmental findings from the Task Force were used in the Northern Kentucky Health Department Resources for Education to Achieve Coordinated School Health (REACH) project. The project addressed the need for healthier food options for students in northern Kentucky schools.

Health-related policy and environmental findings from the Task Force were used in the Northern Kentucky Health Department Resources for Education to Achieve Coordinated School Health (REACH) project. The project addressed the need for healthier food options for students in northern Kentucky schools.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

 

“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)

“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

Page last reviewed: April 23, 2018