Types of Health Programs

health programs

Health programs provide people with the tools, skills and knowledge they need to improve their quality of life. Generally, they address one of two areas: health promotion or disease prevention. Health promotion focuses on the attitudes and active decisions that people make about their health, while disease prevention involves identifying and reducing modifiable risk behaviors.

Some health programs are offered in schools, through the workplace or as a part of community initiatives. School-based programs commonly focus on the following:

Health education is designed to increase the awareness of students, staff and the community about issues related to healthy living and preventing illness, injury and disease. It also offers students opportunities to practice healthy decision making, psychosocial health and physical fitness. Typically, the health education component is incorporated regularly into the curriculum of a variety of subject areas (e.g., home economics, science, language arts, social studies and vocational education).

Typically referred to as health services, these are activities that promote, protect and improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals in the workplace or community. Examples of these include health promotion, wellness and health education, screenings, counseling, community outreach, blood bank services and medical laboratories.

A health program can also be a research, development or demonstration project that tests new methods of disease prevention, treatment, control or cure. These projects are often funded by government agencies or private businesses.

Research in health care is a broad area of inquiry that includes investigations into the structure, processes and organization of the delivery of health care services; evaluation of intended or unintended consequences of financial or nonfinancial incentives for physicians and their provider organizations; comparative effectiveness research on health care procedures and practices; and the dissemination and use of medical knowledge.

Community health programs are a vital component of any public health system. These programs offer a variety of treatments, special clinics and education to address the needs of specific populations. They are especially important to low-income communities. Examples of these programs include:

In the workplace, a health program is usually an employee benefit offered by employers or insurance companies. It may be designed to help employees develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle, such as by offering perks like health-related discounts on gym memberships or food purchases. A typical example of a worksite program is an employee wellness program at the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Austin, Texas.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our programs supported more than 30 million people in the nation’s highest-need communities: people with low incomes, people living with HIV, pregnant women and children, rural counties and municipalities, transplant patients and the health workforce. To learn more about McKinsey’s ongoing efforts to drive greater equity in the nation’s health programs, please contact us. We would be happy to share our latest insights and approaches with you.

Previous post What Is Medical Treatment?
Next post The Health Industry