National Prevention Strategy
In February 0f 2012, Healthy UNH adopted the National Prevention Strategy to guide its wellness efforts on campus. The National Prevention Strategy, released in June 2011, aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. It prioritizes prevention by integrating core recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives.
In looking through the actions recommended in the National Prevention Strategy, Healthy UNH’s first step was to determine its role in carrying forward action items. Initially, the University appeared to fall into the Early Learning Centers, Schools, Colleges, and Universities category as well as the Businesses and Employers category. After reviewing all recommendations, it became clear that implementing the framework requires action across all sectors:
- Early Learning Centers, Schools, Colleges, and Universities
- Businesses and Employers
- State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Government
- Health Care System, Insurer, and Clinician
- Community, Non-Profit, and Faith-Based Organization
- Individuals and Families
We reviewed each of the action items, identified existing resources, and assigned primary campus partners for accomplishing each action item. In April 2012, we began meeting with each of these partners to discuss our work. Essentially, UNH is a community with influences across all sectors, and stakeholders have to be engaged. Each meeting categorized action items by whether they are being addressed or are gaps in services.
Through these conversations, we were able to identify 33 gaps in services provided to the UNH community. We then determined the complexity involved in addressing each item as well as potential barriers. These 33 items will guide our wellness initiatives over the next few years. A PDF version of these work items can be found here.
This process resulted in a logical, strategic set of tools that allowed us to implement the NPS in a comprehensive way. These tools could be applied to other community settings (other Universities, community regions, municipalities, etc.). In October 2012, Healthy UNH presented a poster about its work with the National Prevention Strategy at the American Public Health Association's Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA, and in February 2013, Healthy UNH presented at the Active Living Research Conference in San Diego, CA.