Are you making an impact? Knowing the answer to this question can help assess the value and effectiveness of programs and initiatives focused on improving population health, as well as adjust the program or initiatives to make an impact. Is it important to emphasize the importance and value of using evidence-based findings to guide decision-making. Utilization of evidence-based findings provides a platform to guide development and implementation of programs and initiatives, highlighting what works to address issues in specific populations, such as health equity, childhood obesity, skin cancer prevention in youth, or access to healthy foods in rural communities. However, additional data and information is necessary to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of those programs and initiatives. Indicators provide that additional data and information to help determine if a program or initiative is being implemented as expected and outcomes are being achieved (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
How might a neighborhood improve health? One answer to explore is social-contact design. Environmental cues can encourage social interaction. Over time, frequent social interaction may develop into neighborly support and deeper relationships. People with supportive social ties have lower levels of mortality, better physical health, and improved psychological well-being.