Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in New York State. The New York State Department of Health reports that six out of ten deaths are due to chronic diseases and 41% of New York adults ages 35-64 have at least one chronic disease. Additionally, more than seventy-five percent of health care spending pays to treat patients with chronic diseases. Most chronic disease is preventable and manageable through community interventions and programs.

The Advancing Prevention Project helps to identify community priorities and apply effective, targeted public health strategies to prevent chronic disease through webinars, group and individual technical assistance, and curated events and resources. Highlighted below are some of the successes of our technical assistance:

Healthier Vending Machines in Montgomery County

“[APP] was able to do the analysis much more quickly than we could, which meant we could keep the ball rolling on making the case for healthy snacks and keep the county executive and vendor engaged in the process.”

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The Montgomery Health Department wanted to develop and analyze healthy foods and snacks to change vending machines at a municipal level, but knew it would be an additional demand on already limited time. They turned to the Advancing Prevention Project for help.

As a follow-up to our webinar on Increasing Access to Healthy Beverages in Public Buildings and Worksites, nutrition technical expert, Alyssa Moran, worked with staff at the health department to implement nutrition standards for food and beverage vending machines in municipal buildings and hospitals. Ms. Moran helped the staff:

  • Select appropriate nutrition standards for their machines
  • Review product lists from potential vendors, highlighting items that met nutrition standards
  • Create vending machine plan-o-grams that the staff could share with their vendors, indicating how the new machines should be stocked.

Kim Conboy from the Montgomery Health Department said APP technical expert Alyssa Moran “was able to do the analysis much more quickly than we could, which meant we could keep the ball rolling on making the case for healthy snacks and keep the county executive and vendor engaged in the process.”

Upgrading a Data Management System for Orange County

“Flexible and Attentive technical assistance”

Before reaching out to APP, the Orange Health Department had difficulties tracking their cases as part of the Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative (MICHC). The case notes and forms that they were using to capture data were “not capturing everything [they] wanted to catch and difficult to analyze”.

APP’s evaluation technical expert, Linda Weiss, worked with the Orange County Department of Health’s Maternal and Infant Community Health Collaborative (MICHC) to develop data management systems to:

• Accurately and efficiently capture and manage data to track and document service delivery

• Respond to the requirements and data systems of the State Department of Health

The “flexible and attentive” technical assistance that Orange County Health Department received from Linda resulted in a data management system that accurately captures data and is “easy to use for the Community Health Workers who are using the database”. The Orange County Health Department said they are “very satisfied” with the technical assistance they received from the Advancing Prevention Project, and it has been an “integral part of managing the program.”

Local Public Health Approaches to Breastfeeding in NYS

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The kick-off webinar for APP’s Breastfeeding Community of Practice shared examples of how local health departments have been working toimplement breastfeeding interventions as part of their work on the NYSPA and to introduce this technical assistance opporunity. Subsequent sessions focused on workign with OB/GYN and Pediatric Providers and working with hospsitals to promote breastfeeding among new mothers. A password-secured resource page for participants only contains recordings of sessions, presentation slides, and other resources for the Breastfeeding Community of Practice Teams. 

Health Communications Learning Collaborative

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Public healthcare practitioners must not only find communications solutions that deliver information about their services, but build dynamic, sustainable relationships that are community-centric. This kick-off webinar provided participants with an overview of social marketing communications and offers tips to public health practitioners in New York State on how to establish brand identity in ways that convince, persuade, and inspire communities to make meaningful improvements in their health.