Reports & Issue Briefs

APHA develops reports and issue briefs on critical public health issues such as health reform, environmental public health, food and nutrition, preparedness, quality improvementschool health and education and transportation.

Recent Release!

 National Healthy Housing Standard cover

National Healthy Housing Standard

APHA and the National Center for Healthy Housing created the evidence-based National Healthy Housing Standard as a tool to reconnect the housing and public health sectors and as an evidence-based standard of care for those in the position of improving housing conditions. Download the report (PDF)


Moving Public Health Forward

Innovating, Leading & Moving Public Health Forward — November 2013.

A forum co-hosted by APHA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation brought together innovators from health departments around the country. This report focuses on the highlights of the forum including the need for public health to embrace change, adapt to new ideas and take a data-driven approach to move public health forward. Support for this forum was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Download the report (PDF)

Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments October 2013

This guide was created by the American Public Health Association, California Department of Public Health, and the Public Health Institute in response to growing interest in using collaborative approaches to improve population health by embedding health considerations into decision-making processes across a broad array of sectors. The Guide draws heavily on the experiences of the California Health in All Policies Task Force and incorporates information from the published and gray literature and interviews with people across the country.

Download the guide and learn more about health in all policies.

Health Reform

white dots on blue backgroundThe New Public Health — Rewiring for the Future — June 2012
Tight budgets, workforce shortages, increasing demands. With no shortage of challenges facing the public health community, this report recommends ways to seize opportunities to transform how public health programs and services are delivered, and provides lessons learned from APHA’s 2012 Midyear Meeting.
Read this report (PDF)

The Prevention and Public Health Fund: A critical investment in our nation’s physical and fiscal health — June 2012
appleThe Affordable Care Act created the Prevention and Public Health Fund as an investment in activities that can help communities improve health outcomes and help the U.S. decrease health care costs. Two years later, this issue brief: summarizes the need for prevention and public health funding; reviews the design of the Fund; and provides an update on how the Fund has been implemented and allocated to date.
Read this Report (PDF)

The Affordable Care Act’s Public Health Workforce Provisions: Opportunities and Challenges — June 2011
This issue brief summarizes the current challenges facing the public health workforce and the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that address those challenges. It also provides an update on the implementation of those provisions and highlights the provisions that could address important workforce challenges but remain unfunded.
Read this brief

Prevention Provisions in the Affordable Care Act  — October 2010
Affordable Care Act supporter This issue brief summarizes the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are most relevant for disease prevention and health promotion.

Read this brief  (PDF)



98 Years of Almost: The Push for National Health Insurance — May 2010  
This issue brief provides a history of health care in the U.S. and a summary of past national health insurance attempts, culminating with the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010.

Read this brief  (PDF)


Shifting the Course of Our Nation’s Health: Prevention and Wellness as National Policy — April 2009
Girls playing soccer This brief provides a discussion of how prevention and wellness must be the cornerstones of national public health and health care policy.

Read the brief (PDF)


Holes in the Net: Surveying the Impact of the Current Economic Recession on the Health Care Safety Net — April 2009
Senior citizen This brief provides a discussion of how the economic recession that began in 2007 has negatively impacted access to health care and put an increased strain on public health infrastructure.

Read the brief  (PDF)



Environmental Public Health

Climate Change: Mastering the Public Health Role — April 2011
This is a practical guidebook intended to be a useful tool to help prepare the public health community for the challenges of climate change. It is a translation of a six-part webinar series hosted by APHA and CDC.

Read the report (PDF)

Creating a Safe Food System for America  — October 2009
This brief summarizes the health and cost impacts of foodborne illness in the U.S. and outlines needed policy changes.

Read the brief (PDF)


America Breathing Easier: Working Together, We Can Alleviate the Burden of Asthma and Keep America Breathing Easier — May 2009
man on grassy hill This booklet provides a summary of the state of asthma in the U.S. and highlights the role of CDC’s asthma control program in helping to combat this important public health issue.

  Read the booklet  (PDF)



ATSDR: Safeguarding Communities from Chemical Exposures report — October 2009
image of oil spillThis report provides an overview of the essential roles and services of ATSDR in addressing community environmental exposures.

 Read the report (PDF)



Protecting America’s Health: Federal Chemical Safety System — November 2009
scientist in labThis brochure highlights the complex federal chemical protection system by outlining the primary roles of the various agencies and programs.

Read the brochure (PDF)




Communicating Public Health Preparedness Media and Message Guide — January 2012


This guide is intended to be used by public health professionals and partners to help provide consistent messages and communications about public health preparedness. Read the guide (PDF)



APHA Prescription for Pandemic Flu — February 2007

This report details APHA’s support for comprehensive national planning for an influenza pandemic and recommends key changes to the current preparedness and response strategy. 

View the report chapters  



Quality Improvement in Public Health

Quality Improvement in Public Health: It Works!  — June 2012
young girls high five after soccer gameThis brochure describes national efforts that provide a consistent foundation for Quality Improvement in public health at all levels of government; provides stories of QI successes in public health departments; and offers resources to assist public health professionals who recognize the importance of applying QI to public health practice.

Read this brochure (PDF)

Health Department Initiatives: Moving Toward Quality Improvement — June 2011
teacher and studentsThis brochure highlights Quality Improvement work in five states using tools and planning methods from the National Public Health Performance Standards Program, Mobilizing for Action through Partnership and Planning and the Public Health Accreditation Board at state and local health departments sharing successes and reflecting on lessons learned. Read this brochure


School, Health and Education 

The Dropout Crisis: A Public Health Problem and the Role of School-Based Health Care — September 2011

Teacher with students This issue brief outlines the social, economic, and long-term impacts of our nation’s high school dropout crisis, and how school-based health centers can improve students’ odds of high school completion.

Read this report (PDF)


The Health, Well-Being, and Educational Success of School-Age Youth and School-Based Health Care — September 2011

kids playing hopskotchThis issue brief discusses the power of school-based health centers in promoting healthy lifestyles, particularly for their affect on the most disadvantaged students. 

Read this issue brief (PDF)



Understanding Hunger and Obesity and the Role for School-Based Health Care — September 2011

girl reaching into lockerAs discussed in this issue brief, hunger, obesity and food insecurity all have proven health and educational consequences, which can be addressed by school-based health centers. 

Read this issue brief (PDF)



School Climate, Student Success and the Role of School-Based Health Care — September 2011

female graduateThis issue brief investigates how a school’s climate, influenced by many factors within the school, can affect students and be improved by school-based health centers.

Read this issue brief (PDF)



The Vital Role of School-Based Health Centers in Creating a Violence-Free School Environment — September 2011

This issue brief addresses the impact of violence on health and education, and the positive impact school-based health centers can have within the school building.

Read this issue brief (PDF)



The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation — February 2010
Vehicles after accidentThis report provides a summary of the estimated health impacts and costs associated the current transportation system.

Read this report (PDF)



The Hidden Health Costs of Transportation (Backgrounder) — March 2010
This document is the backgrounder behind the report “Hidden Health Costs of Transportation” and provides a more detailed version of the health impacts and estimated costs. 
Read this backgrounder (PDF)


At the Intersection of Public Health and Transportation: Promoting Healthy Transportation Policy — April 2009
traffic signThis report provides an overview of the connection between transportation and health and outlines how federal transportation policy provides an opportunity to promote health. 
Read the report (PDF)



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