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Strengthening Communities

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Understanding the cause is the first step toward recognizing the solution.

As the fields of health equity, chronic disease prevention, and preventing violence and injuries mature, Prevention Institute staff members are often asked, "What's the most important thing to do?" In response, the Institute developed its tools for strengthening communities, topical frameworks of proven and promising prevention strategies. The Institute applied a rigorous set of criteria in evaluating a comprehensive range of model strategies and culling the most effective among them. This distilled set forms the core of its topical strategies. They are meant to be tailored locally to improve community environments and support better outcomes in the fields of health equity, nutrition and activity, and prevention of violence and injuries. They include:

Communities Taking Action: Profiles of Health Equity

CTAmaptoolsCommunities Taking Action is a collection of profiles that showcase successful community initiatives aimed at improving health equity. Promoting just and equitable health outcomes require social, cultural and physical environments that prevent illness and injury in the first place and a commitment to promoting racial and social justice. The profiles demonstrate how strong leadership, community engagement and advocacy, innovative thinking and changes in local policies and institutional practices can successfully converge to shape healthier, more equitable community environments.

THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments
thriveTHRIVE was created to answer the question, What can communities do to improve health and safety and promote health equity? THRIVE is a framework and tool to support communities in assessing and improving community determinants of health in order to enhance health and safety and promote health equity. THRIVE identifies 12 community determinants of health and safety, grouped in three interrelated clusters: 1) the social/cultural environment (people), 2) the physical/built environment (place), and 3) the economic/educational environment (equitable opportunity). THRIVE provides the framework and tool to enable communities to improve daily living conditions related to these 12 factors in order to enhance health and safety and promote health equity.

Heath Equity and Prevention Primer
HEPPtoolThe Health Equity and Prevention Primer is a web-based training series for public health practitioners and advocates interested in policy advocacy, community change and multi-sector engagement to achieve health equity.

The Environmental Nutrition and Activity Community Tool (ENACT)
ENACTss ENACT provides an interactive menu of strategies designed to help you select and prioritize strategies for improving food and activity environments on a local level, starting in your own community. ENACT guides implementation by offering useful resources based on current research and practice, including model policies and programs, hands-on tools and related research.

The ENACT Local Policy Database
LPDss The ENACT Local Policy Database is a compilation of local policies that improve food and recreation environments, starting in cities and counties. The database provides concrete examples of what's being tried and adopted in other locales, shares actual policy language, demonstrates the range of recreation/food-related policies that are emerging and highlights promising policy activities that are occurring at the local level.

JUSTssJointuse.org serves as a hub of information for those interested in increasing opportunities for safe physical activity in their communities. Resources include fact sheets, advocacy and implementation tools, talking points, success stories, model templates, a California specific joint use locator to identify existing agreements in your region, and an interactive discussion board.

UNITY RoadMap: A Framework for Effectiveness and Sustainability
UNITY RoadMap is a framework for helping cities to prevent violence before it occurs. It guides cities in pinpointing the current status of their efforts (the starting point) and describes the core elements necessary to prevent violence (the milestones). UNITY RoadMap also provides information, resources, and examples to support cities in planning, implementing, and evaluating these strategies. It assists them in addressing underlying root causes, which is the foundation for effective, sustainable efforts to prevent violence across a diverse spectrum of urban environments. As a framework, the UNITY RoadMap is most effective when tailored to the needs of a particular city.

Preventing Violence: A Primer
A solution-oriented resource, informed by a public health perspective. Includes the Three Keys to Preventing Violence, a framework that incorporates public health, law enforcement, social service, and education perspectives. The Three Keys are: 1) Violence is complex and requires a comprehensive approach, 2) Risk and resilience factors must be addressed, and 3) Preventing violence requires an integrated strategy for action.

The UNITY RoadMap Gauge
The UNITY RoadMap Gauge allows you to assess your city's efforts to prevent violence, gauge your city's level of effort and effectiveness, and prioritize areas of focus for a city committed to preventing violence.