The Utah Department of Health, Healthy Living through Environment, Policy and Improved Clinical Care (EPICC) program was formed in July, 2013 through the merging of three existing Bureau of Health Promotion programs and the addition of one new program. The previous Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program (HDSPP); Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DPCP)l; Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity (PANO); and newly added School Health programs were merged through a new funding opportunity from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
EPICC is organized into four health domains, as defined by the CDC. The four domains are: (1) Epidemiology and Surveillance; (2) Environmental Approaches that Promote Health; (3) Health Systems and (4) Community-Clinical Linkages. The health domains align with the past disease specific programs and our focus is more integrated and collaborative than ever before.
The program is comprised of 16 individuals. Nicole Bissonette is the EPICC Program Manager and oversees activities in Domains 3 and 4. Rebecca Fronberg is the Assistant Program Manager and oversees activities in Domains 2 and 4.
Domain 1: Epidemiology and Surveillance
Gather, analyze, and disseminate data and information and conduct evaluation to inform, prioritize, deliver, and monitor programs and population health.
Making the investment in epidemiology and surveillance provides states with the necessary expertise to collect data and information and to develop and deploy effective interventions, identify and address gaps in program delivery, and monitor and evaluate progress in achieving program goals. Data and information come with the responsibility to use it routinely to inform decision makers and the public regarding the effectiveness of preventive interventions and the burden of chronic diseases and their associated risk factors, public health impact, and program effectiveness. The need to publicize widely the results of states’ work in public health and demonstrate to the American people the return on their investment in prevention has never been greater.
Domain 2: Environmental Approaches that Promote Health
Environmental approaches that promote health and support and reinforce healthful behaviors (statewide in schools and childcare, worksites, and communities). Improvements in social and physical environments make healthy behaviors easier and more convenient for Americans. A healthier society delivers healthier students to our schools and in childcare, healthier workers to our businesses and employers, and a healthier population to the health care system. These types of interventions support and reinforce healthy choices and healthy behaviors and make it easier for Americans to take charge of their health. They have broad reach, sustained health impact and are best buys for public health.
Domain 3: Health Systems
Health system interventions to improve the effective delivery and use of clinical and other preventive services in order to prevent disease, detect diseases early, and reduce or eliminate risk factors and mitigate or manage complications.
Health systems interventions improve the clinical environment to more effectively deliver quality preventive services and help Americans more effectively use and benefit from those services. The result: some chronic diseases and conditions will be avoided completely, and others will be detected early, or managed better to avert complications and progression and improve health outcomes. Health system and quality improvement changes such as electronic health records, systems to prompt clinicians and deliver feedback on performance, and requirements for reporting on outcomes such as control of high blood pressure and the proportion of the population up-to-date on chronic disease screenings can encourage providers and health plans to focus on preventive services. Effective outreach to consumers and reducing barriers to accessing these.
Domain 4: Community-Clinical Linkages
Strategies to improve community-clinical linkages ensuring that communities support and clinics refer patients to programs that improve management of chronic conditions. Such interventions ensure those with or at high risk for chronic diseases have access to quality community resources to best manage their conditions or disease risk.
Community-clinical linkages help ensure that people with or at high risk of chronic diseases have access to community resources and support to prevent, delay or manage chronic conditions once they occur. These supports include interventions such as clinician referral, community delivery and third-party payment for effective programs that increase the likelihood that people with heart disease, diabetes or prediabetes, and arthritis will be able to “follow the doctor’s orders” and take charge of their health – improving their quality of life, averting or delaying onset or progression of disease, avoiding complications.