Chronic Disease

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

ASTHO supports a variety of chronic disease prevention and health promotion policies and programs through a number of projects. Information and resources related to ASTHO’s ongoing and past health promotion and disease prevention efforts can be found below.

Breast Cancer Disparities

ASTHO is working with three state health departments to strengthen their ability to mobilize data resources more effectively to address disparities in breast cancer mortality. These states are using high quality data more efficiently to monitor public health impacts for breast cancer prevention and control activities within their states. Read more »

Breastfeeding Promotion

Public health agencies are a key partner in promoting breastfeeding-friendly environments in hospitals, workplaces, and the community to increase breastfeeding rates. ASTHO is supporting a learning community with 19 state health agencies and their partners to enhance breastfeeding efforts.
Read more »


Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. State chronic disease or diabetes plans identify priority areas for action around prevention, identification, and control of diabetes. States can strengthen diabetes prevention and control efforts by leveraging a systems framework adapted from the ASTHO Million Hearts State Learning Collaborative. ASTHO aims to support state efforts by strengthening key systems change levers including policy and financing change, data-driven action, and evidence-based programs. Read more »

Improving Healthy Food Services

With support from CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, ASTHO is working with public health leaders and private sector partners to implement a national strategy to improve the healthfulness of food served and sold across states, with a focus on reducing sodium and added sugar. 
Read more »

Heart Disease and Stroke

ASTHO Supports Million Hearts Public health agencies are a key partner in preventing heart attacks and strokes. They play a role in the identification of best and promising public health interventions for prevention and early identification of heart disease, and have unique opportunities to link with clinical care. As a Million Hearts Partner, ASTHO is supporting state health agencies and other partners in their state to address components of Million Hearts, particularly around blood pressure control. Read more »

National Prevention Strategy Implementation

The National Prevention Strategy, released in 2011, aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. ASTHO developed a toolkit to provide examples of how states and their partners are implementing the Strategy’s recommendations across multiple settings to improve health and save lives. Read more »

Obesity and Wellness

Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. ASTHO is seeking to advance policy, programmatic, and system change to ensure that healthier food and physical activity are accessible in all states. Among other priorities, ASTHO supports improvements to school health, health impact assessments, and worksite wellness efforts. Read more »

Sodium Reduction

The amount of salt consumed by Americans is a major public health issue. High salt intake has been linked to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. ASTHO has been working with CDC’s Division of Heart Disease and Stroke for several years to engage state health officials in the development of a national strategy to reduce the sodium content in the food supply through a collaborative effort of public health leaders and other relevant stakeholders. Read more »

Tobacco Control Network

Visit the Tobacco Control Network website The Tobacco Control Network (TCN) is an ASTHO peer network comprised of the tobacco control program managers and additional staff from each U.S. state and territorial health agency and the health department of the District of Columbia. This wide representation allows the TCN to access a wealth of expertise and experience from across the country. TCN is focused on raising the primacy of tobacco control in all state health agencies and fostering collaboration and communication among state and territorial programs. Read more »

Tobacco Prevention and Control

ASTHO’s tobacco control program serves as a resource on perspectives, capacities, challenges and opportunities to implement state-based tobacco control and prevention initiatives. The overarching goals of this program are to enhance the capacity of state health agency tobacco prevention programs to improve tobacco-related polices and practice; foster environmental, cultural and systems change; and serve as a resource to ASTHO members on tobacco-related initiatives. Read more »

Prevention Newsletter

ASTHO’s bi-weekly Primary Care and Prevention Network News (PCPNN) provides state and territorial health officials and public health professionals with timely and accurate news and tools related to chronic disease prevention, injury and violence prevention, maternal and child health, and primary care and public health integration. Stay informed about ASTHO news and events, state stories, and other timely updates from federal and national partners. Please reach out to Josh Berry on ASTHO staff if you are interested in receiving the bi-weekly Primary Care and Prevention Network News.

Related Projects and Resources

Cancer Prevention and Control

Patient Navigation Project - Several resources highlight the growing importance of patient navigators and community health workers in the healthcare workforce and showcase successful developments to establish the role of these vocations in various states, territories and regions.

Colorectal Cancer - In collaboration with the National Governor’s Association, this issue brief outlines various state efforts underway to increase screening rates and improve access to care and treatment.

Cancer Prevention and Control Toolkit - This toolkit includes a number of resources to help health officials work with governors, legislators, payers, and employers to encourage the prevention, early detection, and treatment of a variety of cancers. Components of the toolkit include a resource on the role of state public health in cancer prevention and control, a slide deck on cost-effectiveness data, and examples of state legislation.

Coordinated Chronic Disease

ASTHO and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) hosted a peer-to-peer learning forum that highlighted lessons from California and Connecticut. The meeting summary describes ways that chronic disease directors can work with their state health officials and state leadership teams around a coordinated approach to chronic disease prevention. Read more »

Health Impact Assessments

A health impact assessment (HIA) is a means for decision makers, such as planners and departments of transportation, to identify the health consequences of their actions and make informed decisions about land use and development. ASTHO has supported HIA capacity building efforts in several states through grant funding from CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH/CDC). Read more »

Stroke Systems of Care

The purpose of the project was to develop Stroke Systems of Care plans based on quality improvement for states already operating a Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Registry, a model quality improvement program for acute care. Read more »

Worksite Wellness

ASTHO encourages all state health agencies to consider the emotional and physical well-being of their employees and to consider how worksite wellness programs can help support this effort. By serving as models of success, we will help our nation move from an unhealthy worksite culture to one focused on healthy employees who are eating well, moving around, and contributing to the overall effectiveness and productivity of our organizations. Read more »