Public Health Practices


Organization or delivery of public health services benefits to communities or populations. Examples include routine public health surveillance, emergency response activities such as contact tracing during disease outbreaks, and program evaluation.


Public health practices apply scientific knowledge to improve the health of a specific community through activities to reduce the incidence and severity of diseases and injuries. Public health practices are typically designed to benefit the community from whom information is gathered.


Advice from authors on searching for information:

The Community Tool Box presents a large list of sources, some of which are more relevant to public health practices than others. For more uncommon public health practices, searching for the keywords (e.g., mosquito control) with the name of the desired city/town might provide better results.

Resources & Data

Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:



  • CDC Community Health Improvement Navigator. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a Database of Interventions filtered by risk factors, populations, outcomes/indicators, settings, and assets in four action areas: 1) socioeconomic factors, 2) physical environment, 3) health behaviors, and 4) clinical care.
  • Community Tool Box. Resources for addressing social determinants of health, stakeholder engagement, leadership building, evaluation, and sustainability. See the Help Taking Action/Database of Best Practices for links to additional resources.
  • NACCHO Model Practice Database. The National Association of County & City Health Officials provides model and promising practices searchable by content area (e.g. chronic disease, mental health, tobacco, etc.), as well as by state and year. (Note: this is an archived page that is no longer updated.)
  • SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides interventions searchable by type (mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring), age, race, gender, geographic location, and setting.
  • NCI Research-tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs). The National Cancer Institute provides cancer control interventions searchable by topic (breast cancer screening, obesity, sun safety, etc.), age, setting, race/ethnicity, setting (community, clinical, rural, etc.), and gender.
  • ASTHO Stories in Public Health. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials collects user-submitted promising or useful success stories searchable by state.
  • Canadian Best Practices Portal. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides data, government strategies, guidance, and reviews organized by topic (alcohol, child health, nutrition, etc.)
  • The Community Guide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides community-based interventions and tools searchable by topic (asthma, health equity, tobacco, etc.).
  • What Works for Health. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps provides interventions in the topics of health behaviors, clinical care, social & economic factors, and physical environment.

Data Limitations

Challenges you may encounter while searching for data:

The ability to filter databases is variable: some have clear filtering choices, others are set up for browsing. Also finding practices that may be specific to your area could be more difficult than general public health practices (i.e., zika prevention versus flu prevention).


Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:

Case Studies

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