The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a number of public health programs that work to improve the health of the population. These programs work in a variety of ways. They may provide educational materials, mass media campaigns, or a special clinic. Many of these programs are a collaboration with other organizations.
Community health programs are a good way to engage community members. These programs can promote healthy lifestyles, help prevent disease, and reduce costs associated with medical treatment. Common examples of community programs include screening for sexually transmitted diseases, preventing substance abuse, and providing treatment for chronic diseases.
School-based health programs are also effective ways to promote health. This type of program targets common childhood conditions such as unhealthy eating and physical inactivity. Its goals include reducing the risk of STIs and smoking, as well as increasing exercise. However, these programs have a difficult time achieving their goals due to competing responsibilities and lack of administrative support.
Workplace wellness programs aim to improve employees’ physical, mental, and social health. These programs are a combined effort of employers and employees, and can include physical activity, nutrition services, and employee counseling. Employers can offer these programs to workers as a benefit to their employees, and can have an impact on organizational wellness.
Health educators work in college campuses, schools, and community centers to educate individuals on health-related topics. These educators are responsible for developing health education programs, coordinating employee education, evaluating the success of these programs, and advocating for healthy choices. In addition to teaching, health educators also perform research, develop community-based campaigns, write grants to fund projects, and consult with other health care providers about barriers to health.
To evaluate a program, the educator analyzes the health-related needs of the community, the effectiveness of the health-related programs, and the potential for improved health. Moreover, the educator creates incentives for people to use the health-related services they need. For example, in a school, an educator may write funding proposals and conduct staff training, while in a workplace, the educator may manage research, train peer educators, and coordinate employee education.
A group of related interventions, called an evidence-based technical package, can achieve substantial improvements in a specific risk factor. This package should consider the projected effect of each intervention, the estimated cost, and the expected population that will be reached. Developing an effective technical package is challenging. While this package is critical to the success of an effective program, it can also make the program unwieldy.
An effective program should present a human face. By doing so, decision makers will know that the lives of the citizens are at stake. Additionally, an accurate and comprehensive data set will add credibility and support to the program.
Leadership is essential to the success of a public health program. Having a strong leadership team, including administrators, community leaders, teachers, parents, students, and other stakeholders, can make programs possible. Lastly, it is important to have an ongoing evaluation of the program to ensure that it is delivering the results that it promises.