The Community Guide in Action: Stories from the Field
Community Guide in Action stories feature decision-makers, program planners, employers, and leaders from across the country who have used The Community Guide to make people safer and healthier. Review all of the stories below or find stories by location or public health topic.
These stories – ready-to-print and, in some cases, video versions – can be used in presentations, as handouts, or as online resources.
If you have used Task Force findings from The Community Guide -- to design programs, policies, services or research, justify funding, support accreditation, or for another purpose-- please submit your story!
Black Corals: A Gem of a Cancer Screening Program in South Carolina [PDF - 576 kB]
In rural South Carolina, where many African American women have limited access to lifesaving medical screenings, the risk of cancer-related death is a complex public health problem. The St. James-Santee Family Health Center launched Black Corals to increase cancer screening among women. The Community Guide served as a resource to help the Black Corals program dramatically increase breast and cervical cancer screenings in their community.
(Video – 10:21)
Blueprint for Success in Reducing Tobacco Use [PDF - 489 kB]
The City of Lincoln and Lancaster County, Nebraska used Community Guide recommendations to build a plan to decrease tobacco use. Their step-by-step approach led to substantial reductions in tobacco use in their county, and led to the state's decision to model their smoking ban on the one developed by the City of Lincoln, and eventually, to monumental state-wide policy changes.
Buckle Up Yurok [PDF - 257 kB]
The California Rural Indian Health Board received a grant from CDC to develop a motor vehicle injury prevention program for the Yurok Tribe in California. The reservation saw increased child safety seat use each year after the program began.
Community Cancer Screening Program: Implementing Interventions to Address Disparities [PDF - 325 kB]
The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia used recommendations from The Community Guide to reduce cancer-related disparities in a largely rural, medically underserved region in the state. The Community Cancer Screening Program™ started as a pilot program and now serves more than 25 counties in southern Georgia.
The Community Guide in the Classroom: Training Future Professionals [PDF - 368 kB]
Instructors in public health at three separate universities share how they use The Community Guide in their classrooms. Undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds learned the importance of using evidence to guide practice and program development.
Community-Wide Effort to Make Florida Tobacco Free [PDF - 493 kB]
Florida public health practitioners, community advocates, and residents joined forces to change state policy in order to stem the tide of death and disability caused by tobacco. Evidence-based interventions, like the ones found in The Community Guide, were implemented across the state and led to substantial reductions in tobacco use and personal health care expenditures.
Creating Walkable Communities in Rural North Carolina [PDF - 588 kB]
Granville County, North Carolina wanted to reduce the health-related risks associated with obesity by increasing physical activity among residents. Using The Community Guide as a resource, the county created a plan—Granville Greenways Master Plan—to make physical activity more accessible by creating more walkable communities.
(Video – 8:55)
Enhanced Physical Education in Illinois: Improving Health and Reducing Chronic Disease [PDF - 318 kB]
In Illinois, one in three children are overweight or obese and at increased risk for chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Concerns of rising obesity rates led policymakers in Illinois to develop and implement an enhanced physical education program in schools based on evidence-based intervention strategies from The Community Guide.
Read the previous Community Guide in Action story, Reducing Obesity Rates in Illinois: Path to Enhanced Physical Education [PDF - 410 kB], to learn more about the state's efforts to improve students' health.
An Evidence-Based Approach to Montana's Health Landscape [PDF - 590 kB]
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services turns to The Community Guide as a primary resource for program planning, funding applications, and partner collaboration, and has used Task Force findings to develop programs aimed at increasing vaccinations, reducing tobacco use, and controlling asthma.
Evidence-Based Recommendations Get Minnesotans in the Groove [PDF - 541 kB]
As chronic disease weighs on the nation's health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has launched a long-term health initiative aimed at getting Minnesotans up, active, and embracing a healthier lifestyle through the use of evidence-based strategies found in The Community Guide.
Familias Sanas y Activas: Improving Health among Latinos in San Diego [PDF - 320 kB]
The San Diego Prevention Research Center is improving the health of Latinos in the city with a free physical activity program. Weekly exercise classes are held throughout the community.
A Good Shot: Reaching Immunization Targets in Duval County [PDF - 492 kB]
The Duval County Health Department in Jacksonville, Florida was challenged with low childhood immunization rates, particularly in its urban core. By implementing a quality improvement strategy that combined multiple Community Guide recommendations, they reached the national target within one year.
Healthy Schools Equal Healthy Kids [PDF - 411 kB]
The Northern Kentucky Health Department used health-related policy and environmental findings from the Task Force to improve the health of school environments in the region. The health department used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Index to measure those improvements.
Investing in Worksite Wellness for Employees [PDF - 454 kB]
The Dow Chemical Company's health promotion program is part of an integrated health strategy to improve the health of its 52,000 employees around the world. Dow uses The Community Guide as a resource to shape these programs and address chronic disease risk factors such as obesity, physical activity, and tobacco use among its employees.
It Takes a Village: Rural Residents Help Make Their Community Healthier [PDF - 587 kB]
Step Into Cuba is a community program to reduce chronic disease and improve the health of residents by increasing physical activity through access to natural environments. The program used Task Force findings to build and improve walking trails throughout the community.
Lowering Legal Blood Alcohol Limits Saves Lives [PDF - 570 kB]
A team of experts used The Community Guide's systematic review process to examine the effectiveness of lowering the illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for automobile drivers. The results of this assessment formed the basis for the independent Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommendation that 0.08 percent BAC laws are effective in reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities. In October 2000, the President signed the transportation appropriations bill requiring states to pass the 0.08% BAC law by October 2003 or risk losing federal highway construction funds.
Maricopa County's Journey Toward Public Health Accreditation [PDF - 424 kB]
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health serves over 3.8 million people, making it responsible for one of the largest territories of any local health department in the country. In one of their largest improvement efforts yet, they used The Community Guide to identify evidence-based programs, services, and policies in preparation for national public health department accreditation.
Maryland Businesses Support Worksite Wellness Effort to Combat Chronic Disease [PDF - 570 kB]
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene launched an initiative to decrease obesity and diabetes by promoting wellness at worksites across the state. They used The Community Guide as a resource to assess and influence changes in employees' health. As a result, more than 150 businesses made a commitment to workplace wellness options for more than 180,000 employees.
Mobilizing Funding Support to Battle Overweight and Obesity [PDF - 589 kB]
The Western Maryland Health System used a health strategy that systematically leveraged funding and partnerships as a way to reduce obesity in their region. They used The Community Guide as a resource to develop an action strategy centered on behavioral, social, and environmental change, as well as an evidence-based approach to strengthen grant applications. This strategy helped Western Maryland Health System secure funding and multiply partnerships.
Planning a Strategy: Changing the Way a County Health Department Addresses Health Conditions [PDF - 591 kB]
Los Angeles County ranges from densely urban to sparsely rural, and includes extensive racial, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic diversity. LA County Department of Public Health addresses such diverse population health needs by including evidence-based approaches found in The Community Guide as a foundation for its strategic planning. Using evidence has helped them reduce rates of obesity, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), heart disease, tobacco use, and other preventable diseases.
Practice What You Promote: Increasing Cancer Screening Rates Among Employees [PDF - 332 kB]
The Michigan Cancer Consortium challenged its member-organizations to increase cancer screening rates among their employees. A wide variety of organizations—large and small, rural and urban, hospitals and health departments, and trade organizations—were able to improve cancer screening rates by using Task Force findings.
Putting the Community Guide to Work at Workplaces: Partnering to Reach Employers [PDF - 423 kB]
In partnership with the American Cancer Society, the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center – supported by CDC – developed Workplace Solutions and HealthLinks. These two worksite wellness programs are based on evidence-based recommendations from The Community Guide.
Rural Community Works Together to Stay "Fun and Fit" [PDF - 604 kB]
The tribal communities in rural Hoonah, Alaska used The Community Guide as a resource to help counter the increasing rates of obesity. They partnered with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to expand access to places for physical activity and get the community moving.
Screening New Yorkers to Save Lives [PDF - 453 kB]
The New York State Department of Health's Cancer Services Program provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening to uninsured and underinsured men and women throughout New York State. They used The Community Guide as a resource to increase participation in these services, as well as to educate partners, community providers, local health departments, and community-based organizations about what works to increase cancer screenings.
Tightening the Belt: Increasing Occupant Restraint Use on the Hopi Reservation [PDF - 340 kB]
The Hopi Tribe in Arizona also received a grant from CDC to develop a motor vehicle injury prevention program. Over the four years of the program, both safety belt and child safety seat use increased.
Using Innovative Technology to Increase Physical Activity [PDF - 314 kB]
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) used Task Force recommendations to help inform the design of its Active Track program. Employees who participate in the program can compete with their peers in activity challenges and earn reward points for their achievements.