The Community Guide Provides Important Resource on Evidence-Based Practices
By Karen VanLandeghem, MPH
Senior Advisor, National Center for Health Reform Implementation, AMCHP
Quality and the need for evidenced-based programming and policymaking continue to be top priorities for states, particularly as many states focus on implementation of the Affordable Care Act and address emergent public health priorities such as accreditation. The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide), supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is designed to provide needed information to support state and community leaders as they decide on strategies, policies, and programs that are most relevant, effective, and cost-effective for their states, communities and enrolled populations. The Community Guide is the only single source of all recommendations and findings of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (Task Force), an independent, non-federal, volunteer body of public health and prevention experts. It provides evidence-based recommendations and findings about public health interventions and policies to improve health and promote safety. The Community Guide includes Task Force findings on 19 topics, including adolescent health, birth defects, immunizations, nutrition, physical activity and oral health.
The Community Guide has a number of uses that include:
Program planning to select evidence-based interventions to help achieve key program objectives
Policymaking to help inform and substantiate policies such as child safety seat laws, vaccinations for child care and school attendance, and community-wide interventions such as water fluoridation
Decision making to help select effective interventions that can make the best use of scarce resources (e.g., cost-effective interventions).
AMCHP has support via an Affordable Care Act funded cooperative agreement with CDC to help disseminate key findings and promote uses of the Community Guide for state MCH programs and their key partners. Policy briefs that examine and analyze the optimal use of Community Guide findings in the areas of preconception health, adolescent health and childhood obesity are forthcoming in the next several months and will be disseminated widely to state MCH programs and other leaders. Additional information about the Community Guide can be found here.