Sample "How to use"

Disclaimer: Having trouble viewing the contents of this site? Update your internet browser to the latest version for the best viewing experience. A PDF version of this page is available.

How can the Guide help you take a population health approach?

This sample situation has been developed to help walk you through the website. 

The following is a sample situation.

Put yourself in the position of being a member of a community partner coalition. Your coalition has chosen tobacco use as a priority health issue because your providers and community data have shown an upward trend.

Here's how you can use the website for this health issue: 

Build Common Understanding

Before diving into strategies, it’s helpful to establish a common understanding of population health. What does it mean to providers? Public health? The community? Once there is common understanding you can explore resources and begin to build a plan.

Assess Needs

Next, look at assessment data such as Washington State Health Assessment so you can begin setting priorities as you build a plan. The Assess Needs webpage provides guidance, links to data sources, and tools you can use to gather more localized information.

Apply A Health Equity Lens

It’s helpful to consider health equity early in your process, so you can be proactive. The Tobacco Summary includes a section on Health Equity Concerns. This can help with developing strategies that reflect unique needs and characteristics of your identified populations.

Develop And Prioritize Interventions

Together with partners try to identify the specific change you want to see. A good example of identifying interventions can be found on this site’s Tobacco Recommended Strategies. A national level example can be found on the CDC’s Six/Eighteen Initiative webpage. 

Align Common Goals

Next, align strategies around a common goal. The CDC’s “Three Buckets of Prevention” provides a good framework. You can work with your coalition to identify strategies at the clinical, clinic-community linkage, and community wide/population level. Also explore current tobacco work and initiatives

Aligning your strategies with those efforts can create better traction. For a sample of how this can look, see the Population Health Driver Diagram for Diabetes. The Secondary Drivers include a strategy in each of the three buckets, creating a comprehensive approach.


How do coalitions build capacity to sustain population health improvement? It’s easy to think primarily about sustaining funding. Funding is important, and we offer resources to help with that. But a strong sustainability plan has multiple components. You’ll find a great evidence-based tool “Sustaining Improved Outcomes” under Resources on the Sustainability webpage.

Each plan will be unique to the health issue and stage of readiness.