Offer young children opportunities to eat healthy foods and engage in physical activity by providing fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporating physical activity into daily classroom routines, etc.
What Works for Health
Policies and programs that can improve health
Provide prescriptions with healthy eating goals for patients and families, often accompanied by progress checks at office visits; can include partnerships with local farmers’ markets via FVRx programs
Provide employees with child care options at work; care may be provided free of charge, partially subsidized as part of an employee benefit package, or offered at market rates
Use internet-based shopping sites to supply refrigerated, frozen, and non-perishable groceries for residential ordering and delivery
Offer time during the school day for children to play in the gym, often during lunch period; joint use agreements can expand open gym opportunities to community members outside school hours
Allow community members to gather, socialize, walk, run, bike, skate, etc. by closing selected streets temporarily to motorized traffic; also called Ciclovía programs
Establish roads that avoid built-up areas such as towns, cities, or commercial/business districts
Support outdoor pursuits that emphasize inter- and intra-personal growth through overcoming obstacles (e.g., challenge courses, wilderness excursions, etc.)
Provide employees with paid time off for circumstances such as a recent birth or adoption, a parent or spouse with a serious medical condition, or a sick child
Require employers in an affected jurisdiction to provide paid time off for employees to use when ill or injured
Support home visits that teach parents about early childhood development and effective parenting strategies, with child development screenings, parental meetings, and links to community resources
Position registered nurses within a parish or similar faith community, or in a health care system to serve as a liaison to congregations; also called faith community nursing or congregational nursing
Use payments, vouchers, and other incentives to encourage patients to undergo preventive care such as screenings, vaccinations, etc.
Provide culturally sensitive assistance and care coordination, and guide patients through available medical, insurance, and social support; also called systems navigators
Use visual tools to prompt safe practices, standardize communication, and ensure no step is forgotten before or during a medical procedure or other health care situation
Support joint decision making between health care practitioners and patients through shared decision making (SDM); part of patient-centered care
Regulate small, short-term loans that must be repaid by a borrower’s next pay day via bans, caps on maximum interest rates and loan amounts, minimum loan terms, truth in lending statements, etc.
Use pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable interlocking pavers, open-jointed blocks or cells, or other permeable pavement in individual or commercial development efforts; also called porous or pervious pavement
Incorporate physical activity breaks, classroom energizers, or moving activities into academic lessons, usually for elementary students
Modify local environments to support physical activity, increase access to new or existing facilities for physical activity, or build new facilities
Adopt regulations that address the safety of playground environment, equipment, and materials, as well as adult supervision
Place motivational signs on or near stairwells, elevators, and escalators that encourage individuals to use stairs
Place motivational signs on posters, front of package labels, or shelf labels near fruits, vegetables and other items that encourage individuals to purchase healthier food options
Engage practice coaches or facilitators to work with primary care clinic staff to redesign clinical practices, organize quality improvement efforts, improve communication, share best practices, etc.
Provide women with information about the risks and benefits of behaviors that affect their health before, during, and after pregnancy
Support quality improvement efforts in early child care and preschool via financial incentives, standards, processes to monitor standards and ensure compliance, etc.
Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among children who are not old enough to enter formal schooling
Provide center-based programs that support cognitive and social-emotional growth among young children from low income families, with supports such as home visiting or parental skills training
Use databases, housed in state agencies, to track prescribing and dispensing of Schedule II, III, IV, and V drugs and other controlled substances
Make pricing for hospital procedures and other health care services publicly available, often via websites, online databases, report cards, or similar tools
Allow law enforcement officials to stop drivers solely for failing to use a seat belt
Provide interpretation services for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) in outpatient and inpatient health care settings, following training and certification
Create a school culture of high behavioral and academic expectations, with intense tutoring, increased teacher performance feedback, lengthened instruction time, and health care services
Establish programs that accept expired, unwanted, or unused medicines from designated users and dispose of them responsibly
Make clinician, clinic, hospital, long-term care facility and insurance plan performance on health care quality measures publicly available via report cards, reporting websites, or similar tools
Make health care facilities’ health care-associated or hospital-acquired infection (HAI) rates readily available to patients and providers
Introduce or expand transportation options that are available to the public and run on a scheduled timetable (e.g., buses, trains, ferries, rapid transit, etc.)
Prevent radon from entering occupied buildings and reduce existing indoor air radon levels via soil depressurization, home or room pressurization, heat recovery ventilation, etc.
Use ready-made or home constructed barrel systems to collect and store rainwater from rooftops that would otherwise flow to storm drains and streams
Establish bioretention systems (e.g., rain gardens, bioretention cells, green roofs, planter boxes, bioswales, etc.) to make city landscapes more permeable
Transition families and individuals experiencing homelessness into permanent housing quickly, often with supports such as short-term financial assistance, case management, landlord negotiations, etc.
Partner with doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals to incorporate literacy support into regular well-child visits, especially in lower income communities
Allow adults to possess a limited amount of marijuana for personal, non-medical use
Offer opportunities for adults to play athletic games such as soccer, softball, kickball, basketball, etc. at beginner, intermediate, and competitive levels
Offer a refundable tax credit to working families with qualifying children or other dependents that receive care outside the home (e.g., a spouse with disabilities)
Establish tenant protections via regulations to the housing rental market such as limits on rent increases and eviction protections for tenants with low incomes; typically via rent stabilization
Establish plans consistent with personal values and current life circumstances that set goals related to having or not having children; goals often change over time
Educate owners, managers, servers, and sellers at alcohol establishments about strategies to avoid illegally selling alcohol to underage youth or intoxicated patrons
Provide nutrition information on menus and signboards at restaurants and other food outlets
Use victim-offender dialogue to address the harm caused by a crime and victims’ needs; can take place pre-arrest or post sentence via sharing circles, victim-offender mediation, or face-to-face conferences