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Welcome to POLARIS, CDC's portal for navigating policy-relevant tools, trainings and resources.
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Find Information by Health Topic

POLARIS puts CDC’s policy-relevant research, data, and resources about specific health topics at your fingertips. Select a health topic below.

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Policy Process

CDC’s Policy Process provides a systematic way to develop policies that can help you address public health problems in your community. Visit this section to earn more about how you can use the policy process.

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Economic Evaluation Overview

Economic evaluation can support efforts to identify, measure, value, and compare costs and consequence of different prevention strategies and policies. Visit this section to learn more about economic evaluation and how it can be used in public health policy and practice

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Thinking in Systems

Thinking in Systems can help public health professionals think more effectively, and systemically, about the issues they face. Explore these pages to learn more about how you can use Thinking in Systems to address policy challenges and think about possible policy solutions.

Policy Achievements in Public Health

Policy is an important tool that can make an impact at the population level. Policy has been a major factor in many of the great public health achievements from the 20th and 21st centuries. Some examples are childhood vaccination, safer and healthier foods, improved workplace safety, and increased motor vehicle safety.

CDC has a wide variety of research, data, and information that can inform evidence-based policy. POLARIS was developed by CDC to make it easier to find information on different health topics and to provide resources and training on CDC’s policy process.

See CDC’s definition of policy here.

Featured Resources

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These online courses were developed to increase understanding of major policy-related concepts and methods. Visit the trainings to learn more about policy analysis, policy evaluation, and economic evaluation in public health.

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Writing Briefs
These resources outline four types of briefing documents that can be used to clearly communicate public health evidence. Start here to learn more about how to develop briefs that inform decision makers and stakeholders of the best available evidence on a public health problem, policy, method, or approach.

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Rural Health
Visit this health topic page to learn more about the complex challenges that rural communities face. You can also read a collection of policy briefs that provide examples of policy options that can address public health issues in rural America.

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Team Based Care Interactive Economic Model
This economic model projects the long-term health and cost impacts of providing team-based care for patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure. Visit the page to learn more about the model and its outputs.

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HI-5 (Health Impact in 5 Years)
The Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) initiative highlights non-clinical, community-wide approaches that have evidence reporting 1) positive health impacts, 2) results within five years, and 3) cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier.