Educational and Community-Based Programs Workgroup Objectives (14)
About the Workgroup
Approach and Rationale
Educational and community-based programs and strategies are designed to reach people outside of traditional health care settings. These settings may include:
- Community-based organizations
Each setting provides opportunities for people to interact with physical and programmatic structures on a regular basis.
The core objective selected by the ECBP Workgroup aims to increase participation in daily school physical education by helping schools create a strong, evidence-based foundation for physical education programs.
The developmental objectives focus on kindergarten to 12th-grade health interventions, medical and allied health preparation programs, community-based organization prevention services, and worksite health promotion programs. As more data become available, these developmental objectives may become core objectives.
Understanding Educational and Community-Based Programs
Health and quality of life rely on interwoven community systems and factors — not simply on a well-functioning health and medical care system. Making changes within existing systems, like improving school health programs and policies, can effectively optimize the health of many people in a community.
Chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. They’re also leading drivers of the nation’s annual health care costs.1 Promoting health in workplaces and community-based organizations, establishing healthy habits in school-age children, and including public health education in medical and allied health preparation programs can directly address this burden.
To improve community health, it’s often necessary to change aspects of the physical, social, organizational, and even political environments to eliminate or reduce factors that contribute to health problems — and to introduce new elements that promote better health. These changes may include:
- Instituting new programs, policies, and practices
- Changing aspects of the physical or organizational infrastructure
- Changing community attitudes, beliefs, or social norms2
Emerging issues in Educational and Community-Based Programs
- Adopting a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) approach to reduce dropout rates. The WSCC model is CDC’s framework for addressing health in schools. The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement, and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices.
- Establishing an evidence base for community health and education policy interventions to determine their impact and effectiveness.
- Increasing the number of community health and other auxiliary public health workers — and building their skill level — to support healthier communities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). About Chronic Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/index.htm
Institute of Medicine. (2003). The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221239