The NCIOM Task Force on Implementing Evidence-Based Strategies in Public Health developed recommendations to assist public health professionals in the identification and implementation of evidence-based practices within their communities to improve population health. This project was a collaborative effort with the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the North Carolina Center for Public Health Quality and is being supported by National Public Health Improvement Initiative funding from the Affordable Care Act.Back to Task Forces
Alice Ammerman, DrPh
Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Laura Gerald, MD, MPH
State Health Director, Division of Public Health
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Buncombe County Health Department
Berkeley Yorkery, MPP
North Carolina Institute of Medicine
In North Carolina, the Division of Public Health (DPH) and the local health departments (LHDs) are charged with, “promot[ing] and contribut[ing] to the highest level of health possible for the people of North Carolina.” To fulfill this mission, DPH and LHDs are tasked with preventing health risks and disease; promoting healthy lifestyles; promoting a safe and healthful environment; promoting the availability and accessibility of quality health care services through the private sector or directly if not otherwise available. To accomplish this mission with limited financial resources means that public health practitioners must find ways to optimize the impact of their work. Evidence-based public health, the practice of incorporating scientific evidence about what works into management decisions, program implementation, clinical services, and policy development, is one way to do this.
Over the past few years, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), DPH and other state partners have worked together to develop a vision and roadmap for improving public health efforts to save lives, reduce disability, improve quality of life, and, potentially, decrease costs. The Prevention Action Plan for North Carolina included evidence-based strategies to improve population health. Healthy North Carolina 2020: A Better State of Health includes 40 objectives to improve population health by 2020, as well as EBSs to help achieve the objectives. The Task Force on Implementing Evidence-Based Strategies in Public Health builds on these previous efforts by focusing on what can be done at the local level by health departments to improve outcomes for the HNC 2020 objectives. Improving North Carolina’s Health: Applying Evidence for Success lays out a framework for how DPH and LHDs, with help from other partners, can support each other to increase the use of evidence-based programs, policies, and clinical practices at the local level.