Before implementing a health promotion and disease prevention program, consider the environment, staff, and systems that will support the program. The following factors should be considered:
Identify the target population and their key health needs. It is important to conduct a needs assessment to identify community factors that will affect program implementation. These include local health concerns, barriers, resources, complexity of local dynamics, and cultural acceptability.
Involve passionate people in all program aspects. Involve staff who are valued by the community and passionate about the program's goal and purpose. These staff are sometimes referred to as “program champions.” Motivated staff who are known by community members can positively influence program participation and acceptance.
Assess staff capacity. Involve staff who possess the knowledge, background, and skills necessary for the position. Additional training may be necessary.
Seek and maintain support from partners. Involve partners with similar missions and goals. See Partnerships and Coalitions for guidelines for identifying appropriate partners.
Facilitate administrative support for the program. Successful programs have administrative supports that encourage positive environments and reduce barriers to implementation. Organizations should be proactive in ensuring their resources, policies, procedures, and communication systems support program efforts.
Additional Implementation Considerations are available in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Resources to Learn More
Community Health Online Resource Center (CHORC)
This online resource center provides links to tools including guides, frameworks, and other materials that support health promotion and disease prevention programming.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Community Health
Provides links to an evidence-based tool with five action guides designed to facilitate implementation of community health programs to improve population health. The action guides include topics on diabetes management, physical activity, and tobacco-use treatment.
Organization(s): Partnership for Prevention
Develop Strategic and Action Plans
This toolkit provides information that supports the development of a vision, mission, objectives, strategies, and action plan.
Organization(s): Community Tool Box
Health Promotion Programs: Introductory Workbook, 4th ed.
This resource explains the six steps involved in planning an evidence-informed health promotion program. To complement the workbook, a series of audio presentations provide a brief overview of each step.
Organization(s): Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario)
Program Planning Resource
This website defines the steps in planning, implementing, and evaluating a health program and provides links to resources that support each step.
Organization(s): The Community Guide
Tools for Implementing an Evidence-Based Approach in
Public Health Practice
Easily accessible and time-efficient tools for implementing an evidence-based public health approach to improve population health.
Authors(s): Jacobs, J.A., Jones, E., Gabella, B. A., Spring, B., & Brownson, R.C.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 9