Ongoing training of state health department staff in evidence-based decision making and addressing health equity challenges can help overcome barriers to putting evidence into practice, according to a paper from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Leadership from the Chronic Disease Prevention Section of the Georgia Department of Public health hosted a multi-day training by faculty from the Brown School’s Prevention Research Center. The training addressed a framework for evidence-based public health that included steps such as community assessment, policy implementation and evaluation.
Surveys of health department staff and partners following initial training, the institution of management practices to support evidence-based decision making (EBDM), and supplemental trainings suggested the leadership efforts had succeeded in raising capacity and use of evidence-based practices.
“Leadership support is critical,” wrote lead author Dr. Peg Allen, assistant professor at the Brown School, and senior author Dr. Ross Brownson, Bernard Becker Professor and co-director of the Prevention Research Center. “Commitment of leaders within agencies with authority and skills to institute multiple management practices and help staff learn and apply EBDM processes is important for the spread of evidence-based chronic disease prevention and improved population health.”
The recommendations were published in the July issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.