What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

Smoke-free policies for indoor areas

Implement private sector rules or public sector regulations that prohibit smoking indoors or restrict it to designated, often outdoor, areas

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Smoke-free policies for multi-unit housing

Implement private sector rules or public sector regulations that prohibit smoking in and around multi-unit housing

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Smoke-free policies for outdoor areas

Implement private sector rules or public sector regulations that prohibit smoking outdoors or restrict it to designated areas

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Social host laws

Adopt laws that hold private property owners who provide alcohol to minors or obviously intoxicated individuals on their property liable if someone is killed or injured as a result

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Social media for civic participation

Support individual and group use of internet-based tools to receive news, communicate or share information, collaborate on ideas, mobilize networks, and make collective decisions

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Family and Social Support

Social networking site interventions: risky sexual behavior

Use social networks such as Facebook and MySpace to deliver health education, often as part of a broader online campaign of websites and social networks

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

Social service integration

Coordinate access to services across delivery systems and disciplinary boundaries (e.g., housing, disability, physical health, mental health, child welfare, workforce services, etc.)

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Family and Social Support

Sports-related concussion education

Educate youth and college athletes, coaches, and parents about the severity of concussions in sports, proper prevention, detection, reporting, and treatment

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

State-level minimum nurse staffing requirements for nursing homes

Establish state level regulations that require nursing homes to employ at least a set number of licensed and non-licensed nursing staff, often set in terms of staff hours per resident day

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Quality of Care

Statewide comprehensive tobacco programs

Coordinate state and community-level cessation and prevention interventions and provide information on the dangers of tobacco using a combination of educational, regulatory, clinical, social, and economic strategies

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

Strong graduated driver licensing laws

Strengthen laws that allow young drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Sugar sweetened beverage taxes

Increase the price of sugar sweetened beverages (e.g., soda) by adding an excise or sales tax to the current price

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

Summer learning programs

Provide academic instruction to students during the summer, often along with enrichment activities such as art or outdoor activities

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Summer youth employment programs

Provide short-term employment opportunities for youth, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety, Employment

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

Explore ways to increase Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program benefit amounts for aged, blind, or disabled individuals, including children, with little or no income

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Income

Swimming pool fencing

Require fences around swimming pools

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

Synthetic progesterone (17P) access

Ensure appropriate access to 17P, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, by identifying high-risk women, reducing barriers to treatment receipt and completion, coordinating care, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Expert Opinion
Health Factor(s):
Access to Care

Syringe services programs

Provide sterile injection equipment and often other treatment and referral services to people who inject drugs; also called needle or syringe exchange programs and needle syringe programs

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

Technology-enhanced classroom instruction

Incorporate technology into classroom instruction via computer-assisted instruction programs, computer-managed learning programs, use of interactive white boards, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

Teen pregnancy prevention programs

Support school-, community-, and clinic-based teen pregnancy prevention programs such as comprehensive sex education, HIV/STI prevention and youth development efforts, service learning, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity