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Contra Costa Health Services

Programs & Organizations > Chronic Disease Prevention > A Guide For Local Health Departments > The Chronic Disease Prevention Organizing Project (CDPOP)

Preventing Chronic Disease

The Chronic Disease Prevention Organizing Project (CDPOP)

CDPOP was a project of Contra Costa Health Services, a county health department in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was based on the premise that in order to help prevent chronic disease, health departments must address social, economic, and environmental factors that increase the risk of such disease.

Chronic diseases are long-lasting, persistent health conditions, such as heart and circulatory diseases, cancer, diabetes and asthma. Such diseases are rarely curable but are usually treatable and often preventable. Preventable risk factors for all of these diseases include poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, tobacco, chronic stress, toxic or unhealthy environment and low socioeconomic status.

The impetus for the project came from the Public and Environmental Health Advisory Board (PEHAB), a citizen advisory board to the health department and the county Board of Supervisors. PEHAB reviewed the prevention efforts of Contra Costa Health Services in 1994 and recommended a more comprehensive approach to chronic disease prevention involving coordination of several programs in the department. More than 100 residents, health professionals, activists and advocates worked with the advisory board and the health department to develop a plan. The result was a document called Chronic Disease Prevention: A Framework for Contra Costa, which formed the basis for CDPOP.

About the Guidebook

This Guide describes a community-based approach to chronic disease prevention in underserved communities at high risk for disease. It is founded on the work of the Chronic Disease Prevention Organizing Project (CDPOP), an initiative of the health department of Contra Costa County, California. We hope other health departments and community groups can draw on our experience to adopt a similar approach.

We've designed the chapters to stand by themselves, so that you can pursue areas of interest without having to read the entire Guide. Chapter One describes how to prepare a health department for a comprehensive, community-based approach. Each of the remaining chapters focuses on a particular strategy for chronic disease prevention, with an overview of the approach and steps for implementation. Sample forms, handouts and other materials are included in the appendices.

Content provided by the The Community Wellness & Prevention Program of Contra Costa Health Services.

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