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Preventing Chronic Disease

Guiding Principles

In addition to building on the Framework and the Spectrum of Prevention, CDPOP adopted several guiding principles:

  • Address multiple environmental and social risk factors. Focus on the six major influences on chronic disease: nutrition, physical activity, tobacco, socioeconomic status, environment, and long-term stress.
  • Focus on assets. Draw on the knowledge and ability of communities and institutions. Emphasize assets and not just needs or problems. Build on successful efforts, to avoid reinventing the wheel.
  • Pursue social change. Intervene to change institutions, communities and environments-not just individual behaviors. Promote economic development and employment. Seek long-term solutions.
  • Form a broad and diverse base. Enlist grassroots community groups and local institutions to help define priorities and develop strategies and solutions. Include a broad group of health department staff. Share power, accountability, credit and resources.
  • Go public. Use the media and other forms of advocacy to promote policies that foster community health and wellness.
  • Be flexible. Be ready to reconsider plans and shift priorities as you learn from experience, and as new people get involved in the project. Balance the drive for outcomes with respect for the process of building relationships.

Content provided by the The Community Wellness & Prevention Program of Contra Costa Health Services.

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