All communities need access to healthy foods and safe places to play and be active—but not all communities enjoy equal access to these vital means of health. We take a systems approach to improving access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity—working across a spectrum of issues, from agriculture, education, land use and transportation, to economic development, industry regulation, and safety. We believe health equity should be the core goal in our national efforts to reduce diet- and activity-related chronic disease, and our work strives to understand how communities experiencing inequities can be best supported in the creation of neighborhoods, cities, and regions that foster health. Through a focus on federal policy, along with state and local research, consultation, and capacity building, we promote cross-sector, equity-focused solutions to promote healthy food and activity environments.

Projects & Initiatives

PI works with a breadth of partners and communities to develop strategies and practices to keep people healthy and safe in the first place. Below is a selection of ongoing or recent projects.

  • COVID-19 Public Health and Equity Collaborative

    This collaborative is developing a COVID-19 policy agenda that takes the need for stable housing, mental health and wellbeing, food security, and equitable enforcement of emergency and public health powers into account. 

  • Training and Technical Assistance to Federal Prevention Grantees

    Through responsive technical assistance and training, PI supports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) awardees across the country. Currently PI is supporting Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) awardees that are part of the High Obesity Program (HOP) and State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program. We have also provided services to Community Transformation Grant (CTG) recipients and consulted with CDC’s ACHIEVE communities. Our technical assistance work focuses on equity, multisector partnerships, and community engagement.

  • Convergence Partnership

    Prevention Institute provides ongoing guidance, strategy development, and policy analysis for the Convergence Partnership - a national collaborative of funders in the United States whose goal of policy and environmental change will help reinvent communities.

Publications & Other Resources

We research and write reports, white papers, fact sheets, opinion pieces, and journal articles, as well as produce videos and podcasts. Here are some of our latest offerings.

Tools & Services

We have developed a broad range of practical, free-to-use tools to guide practitioners, advocates, and policymakers in planning and implementing  prevention strategies. We also provide services to help you use our tools to create healthy and safe communities.

  • The Spectrum of Prevention

    The Spectrum of Prevention is a systematic tool that promotes a multifaceted range of activities for effective prevention. The Spectrum identifies multiple levels of intervention and helps people move beyond the perception that prevention is merely education and serves as a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of prevention that includes six levels for strategy development.

  • Collaboration Multiplier

    Collaboration Multiplier is an interactive framework and tool for analyzing collaborative efforts across fields. It is designed to guide an organization to a better understanding of which partners it needs and how to engage them.

  • Developing Effective Coalitions: An Eight Step Guide

    The Eight Steps to Effective Coalition Building is a framework for engaging individuals, organizations and governmental partners invested in addressing community concerns. The complete document offers concrete steps towards building effective partnerships and provides tips for making collaborations and partnerships work.

Profiles in Action

These profiles, written by PI and our partners, show what community prevention looks like on the ground, all across the country.

  • #253 Making Connections

    The #253 Making Connections Initiative (MCI) focuses on preventing mental health challenges and community trauma from occurring in the first place.  Their activities range from cultivating food in urban gardens to participating in a tribal canoe journey, and most of them link to deep cultural traditions.

  • Partners through Food (Rochester)

    Recognizing the injustice of living in a community with limited food options, residents and activists collaborated with local government officials to lobby for a new supermarket. After five years of tireless efforts and shifting strategies, the community group Partners Through Food successfully convinced a major grocery chain to bring a full-service supermarket into the community.

  • Safe Lead Yard Project (Boston)

    Boston Lead-Safe Yard Project uses affordable techniques to mitigate exposure to lead in inner-city yards. Now that they have proven that affordable remediation techniques can reduce urban lead exposure, project members are working to ensure these effective lead-safe yard techniques are applied in neighborhoods across the country.

  • Gardens for Growing Healthy Communities (Denver)

    Vacant lots of land once strewn with garbage now bloom with new life in some of Denver’s poorest neighborhoods. Denver Urban gardens has been transforming unused lots onto community gardens, creating pockets of green in the midst of inner-city communities.

  • We're Not Buying It: Stop Junk Food Marketing to Kids

    Watch the video and share! "We're Not Buying It" exposes deceptive marketing to children, debunks industry claims, and highlights the latest research. When we put children first, the plan of action is clear: companies should market the foods that keep kids healthy, not sugary cereals and other junk food. The IWG guidelines will help to do just that.