Bringing Clarity to Health Information: CDC Vital Signs

Bringing Clarity to Health Information: CDC Vital Signs

Americans want trustworthy health information they can use, but are often bombarded with largely unusable or incorrect information. To help remedy this, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs was developed to translate the latest scientific and surveillance data into recommended actions using plain language that is easy to understand.

Americans want trustworthy health information they can use, but are often bombarded with largely unusable or incorrect information. To help remedy this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs was developed to translate the latest scientific and surveillance data into recommended actions using plain language that is easy to understand. Specific recommendations are directed to individuals and key institutions, including state and local health officials, employers, hospital administrators and school officials.

CDC Vital Signs releases separate material to two audiences. Information for scientists is written in language used in technical journals, while information for the public is written in clear easy-to-understand language. Town Hall teleconferences are also held monthly so that nearly 200 state and local health departments, clinicians, and others can share their own experiences in their community.

In the first year (ending June 2011), monthly topics covered cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco, binge drinking, access to healthcare, HIV/AIDS testing, motor vehicle passenger safety, preventing cardiovascular disease, healthcare-associated infections, teen pregnancy, asthma, and food safety. Podcasts and fact sheets are available for all of these topics.  The initiative demonstrates the effectiveness of different techniques for using and presenting sound data in the service of disease prevention.

TEAM MEMBERS
Richard Schieber, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lynn Sokler, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ronald Campbell, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Carol Crawford, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tom Skinner, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Karen Resha, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Barbara Bowman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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