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).
With the year 2017 quickly coming to a close, I know many people are busy making goals for 2018, albeit personally and/or professionally. Personally, my 2018 goals center on the usual eat healthy and stay physically active, but, professionally, my goals are to educate on public health…what it is, why it’s important, and how evidence-based research helps drives efforts to improve health outcomes. Do you have goals you want to achieve or projects you want to implement in 2018, but you are not sure how those will be achieved?