About the Prevention Partners legacy website: Data AnyWare is bringing this content from Prevention Partners to the web in appreciation of their patronage for nearly a decade and, moreover, their contribution to the health and well-being of people throughout the country.

History and Accomplishments

20 years of advancing prevention, 1998-2018

In 1997, a handful of public health leaders noted that despite the majority of health issues stemming from preventable issues, there was a complete absence of leadership stemming the tide of chronic disease. This small group set out to raise NC leadership awareness and action for prevention to establish evidence based prevention policies, environments and systems that have the greatest impact on increasing healthy life years of the population.

There was clear evidence that the underlying issues of tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical activity were drivers of the epidemics of heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, lung disease, low birth weight, and were factors that aggravated all health conditions. NC’s burden of these illnesses and disease were among the worst in the nation, yet there was very limited attention given to these issues. No health insurer covered these issues; in fact they were excluded conditions. Health care systems and health care providers had limited models and no revenue streams to integrate healthy behaviors into the treatment and prevention of illness. While there were national public health goals to establish healthy community environments to support healthy behaviors, many public health systems were focusing on treating the consequences of poor health rather than preventing it. There was no community leadership focus to establish healthy environments at work, in schools, and in healthcare.

Our interest was to fast forward prevention by a decade by engaging leaders to focus strategically on the key underlying issues of tobacco, nutrition, and physical activity, and to move the marketplace and the state of NC to establish evidence-based prevention in policies, environments and systems to create tools that support healthy behaviors. Our mission was established, “Putting prevention first for a healthier NC”. Prevention Partners brought together cross sector leadership and created a model of voluntary policy change - using a leadership spread approach, with a series of campaigns and key tools to change and create healthy policies, systems, environments and practices.

Because these were hidden issues, we began with a Prevention Report Card that showcased these issues, and how various systems in NC ranked in the nation as compared to best practice standards. We shared solutions for what key groups could do to close the gaps and to move the state towards A’s.

For the prevention issues that we championed, NC has moved from all F’s, near the bottom of the nation, to the center: 28th in tobacco, 26th in physical activity and 35th in obesity. Prevention has been taken up by other organizations and leaders in private and public sector, which is what we set out to do. We did some unexpected things along the way: built software that enabled us to scale prevention policies, extend our footprint across the globe, and collaborated with researchers to publish our work. We have successfully built out many systems that advance health across our state and nation, and are leaving a strong legacy.

The organization accomplished many firsts in NC and the nation, grew to develop technology supports and many strategic partnerships to scale prevention. Believe in Prevention Brochure

In our last ten years, we brought healthy organizational change, to schools, hospitals, and workplaces of all size and sectors. We created a unique leadership spread model that engaged key leadership groups to invite their members to participate in healthy places campaigns. We found great readiness and interest from hospital associations and worked with 5 hospital groups to spread this to their members. This resulted in a rapid pace of uptake and guided members to attain a very high bar.

We have cultivated significant leadership over the past 20 years who advanced our innovative models, established an infrastructure and focus on prevention. We went well beyond what we had anticipated in those early years, and ultimately spread prevention practices to nearly 1000 organizations in all 100 NC counties, 32 states and 43 countries. Because we focused on systems approach, our reach was significant, and our legacy will continue through the systems adopted by our partners.

Annual Reports

Annual Reports, YouTube channel and Twitter account are a time capsule of the work, supporters and partners, and accomplishments.

Stories of Change


Prevention Partners will remain in the healthy lives of millions of people who have been impacted by its mission and work. One day we will not need to build a hospital at the bottom of the cliff because we built a fence at the top.
Robert S. Parker "Bob"
Retired Vice President Home and Community Health, Wake Forest Baptist Center
Prevention Partners founding Board of Directors, 1998-2016



1997: Established Bylaws & Established Affiliation Agreement with the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1998: Held kickoff event at SAS, released first Prevention Report Card & presented first Prevention Awards, Inaugural Board of Directors elected & Membership Drive held

1998-2016: Published NC Prevention Report Cards to raise leadership awareness and action

Report Cards were released to the media and the public, provided to all members of the NC General Assembly, federally elected officials, and leaders of all health related associations, foundations, hospitals and health departments. They included specific evidence based recommendations that would move NC to an A. Between 2000 and 2010, NC moved from an F in Tobacco to a B, reflecting the collective progress on evidence based tobacco prevention and cessation efforts across NC.

1999-2006: Led NC Preventive Benefits Initiative , leading to highest voluntary coverage in nation for tobacco and medical nutrition therapy among NC fully insured private and public health insurance plans.
Preventive Health Insurance Benefits
North Carolina is Closing the Gap on Preventive Insurance Coverage, NC Medical Journal, 2010

Libby Puckett and Tynetta Brown, Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Branch, NC Division of Public Health at Winner’s Circle Healthy Dining Kentucky Derby Gala

1999-2006: Led Winner’s Circle Healthy Dining Program to identify healthy foods in restaurants and schools History of Prevention Partners Winner’s Circle FAQ. Partnered with the NC Division of Public Health and NC Restaurant Association. Public health and university partners provided nutritional analysis and technical support to restaurants and schools to identify and promote consumer purchasing of healthy foods.

1998-2007: Authored NC Strategic Public Health Prevention Plans for NC Division of Public Health (heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, tobacco cessation)

2004: Held Independence campaign, moved into independent quarters at Vilcom Campus, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

2004-2005: As part of Go Chapel Hill!, a partnership between the Town of Chapel Hill and Active Living by Design, Prevention Partners created the brand for the initiative, and conducted a walkability assessment in Northside neighborhood.

2003-2007: Led Quit Now NC!, authored RFA for Quitline NC in partnership with the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, NC Division of Public Health, supported cessation systems in community health centers, and led Quit for Life study for NC State Health Plan that led to the establishment of tobacco cessation benefits for state employees.

2002: Was one of three founding partners of the NC Alliance for Health to advocate for preventive public policy in NC: www.ncallianceforhealth.org

2005-2008: Advanced integration of tobacco use, nutrition and physical activity brief counseling and referral into clinical prevention, partnered with UNC faculty, by creating Starting the Conversation Tools and offering Prevention Rx Training to clinics, hospitals and health care providers.

Citation: Paxton, Amy E, Strycker, Lisa, Toobert, Deborah, Ammerman, Alice, Glasgow, Russell. (2011). Starting the Conversation: Performance of a brief dietary assessment and intervention tool for health professionals, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 40 (1), 67-71.

Inspired leadership interest and action for prevention by convening Annual Meetings & Awards, Health Plan Roundtables, Employer Roundtables, and participating in Legislative Heart Health Days


2011: Established Jim Long Policy Fellowship to support the work of a Jim Long Policy Fellow in honor of founding board member Commissioner Jim Long.


In our second decade, Prevention Partners focused on building healthy places by advancing healthy organizational policy change, recognizing that healthy places create access and are a driver of healthy behaviors. This model was implemented voluntarily across hundreds of schools, hospitals, and workplaces and was reflected in our tagline, Building Healthy Places where we work, learn, receive care and lead.

Healthy Places Create Access

2000-2014: Supported Healthy School environments for over a decade, Zone Health and LearnHealthy America

Julie Knaack and Ingrid Morris and Healthy School Partners at Zone Health Training, Asheville NC

2006-2014: Healthy NC Hospitals Initiative - First in nation - guided all NC hospitals to establish tobacco free campus, offer Healthy Food, Active Environments, and a culture of wellness.

US DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius presenting Health Living Innovation Award to Prevention Partners Healthy Food Environment team leader Annie Thornhill, 2011 in recognition of the healthy food environment component of the Healthy NC Hospital Initiative.

2010: Launched Prevention Academies across NC for healthy change across 9 NC communities. Facilitated community partnerships among hospitals, health departments, and employers to spread healthy places across the community.

2011- 2017: Scaled Healthy Organizational Change across US and globe reaching 33 states and 42 global sites. As other state hospital leadership organizations requested support to guide their healthy hospital and early healthy community work, we developed web applications to scale our work rapidly and efficiently across communities, states and regions.

Elina Urli Hodges advances national and global strategic partnerships

Prevention Partners Data and Products
  • WorkHealthy America
  • Simple Steps
  • WorkHealthy Global
  • LearnHealthy America (district, school modules)
  • School Health Hub
  • Patient Quit Tobacco System (Inpatient, Outpatient modules)
  • LeadHealthy America

We were proud to partner with and to support forward-thinking partners who wished to lead healthy change processes in their communities. We guided hospital association partners in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, and the Children’s Hospital Association to bring clear standards and a tested healthy hospital campaign process to their members. The Centers for Disease Control recognized our healthy hospital leadership model and partnered with us to lead a national healthy hospital effort. We supported the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as they worked to support hospitals to establish tobacco-free campuses and employee and patient quit tobacco systems. Our work spread to support military hospitals within the Department of Defense. Mars, Inc., reached out to us to develop a custom tool to support healthy work environments in their US and global manufacturing sites.

National Partnerships Map

2012-2017: Established Research Council to advance prevention with unique data & partnerships. As our partners grew, our database grew, reflecting prevention practices across the country. As our partners advanced their prevention environments, we were interested in hearing the interests of our partners and working with academic leaders to describe drivers and needs, and to bring on the ground experience to advance the next generation of prevention knowledge. Publications and Technical Reports are summarized in the Prevention Resource Center and Data Vault.

Whitney Davis, Chief Mission Officer, at Research Council
Rachel Zucker shares NC Power of 10 Report Card at Jim Long Event
Amy Meador, Director of Research and Evaluation, shares latest data with research partners

2013: Established Be Active Legacy Fund. As our partner Be Active NC closed, we were honored that their board established a Fund to expand Prevention Partners physical activity focus.
Be Active Legacy Report 2015

2014-2017: Established Healthy Together NC to spread the Power of 10, to reach 25% of workforce by creating healthy places in 10 large workplaces, in all 100 NC counties. Based on our experience that reaching the ten largest employers in rural communities reached at least 25% of the workforce with healthy places, we partnered with the NC Department of Commerce, NC Hospital Association, NC Association of Local Health Directors, NC County Commissioners, NC Community Foundation, NC State Health Plan, and Population Health Improvement Partners to raise awareness and to drive community action to bring the Power of 10 Healthy Places across NC.

Heather Mountz, Senior Manager, Healthy Together NC, shares Power of 10 progress
Lindsey Bickers Bock, Director of Strategic Coaching, supports leaders and organizations in healthy change

Adapting our leadership spread model to rural communities, and with the recognition that healthy people are an economic development pillar, we reached 15% of the workforce across NC, and in some regions, reached nearly 50% of the workforce. Many community leaders have interest in this concept. We encourage leaders in government, business and healthcare to continue to bring healthy places to work, learn and receive care to their local communities.


Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker:
Why Health is an Economic Development Issue


2017- 2018: Stewarded mission with strategic placement of intellectual property and assets. The Prevention practices, policies and environments and culture of wellness that we cultivated will continue through many organizations, communities, and benefiting generations to come with better health.

We are very pleased that our mission and suite of prevention web tools will continue to be used by a national health insurer and the Health Behavior Department of the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to build healthy places and change lives. For more information, please contact: Health Behavior Department

We are very pleased to transfer our Endowment Fund held within the NC Community Foundation to the North Carolina Alliance for Health to support prevention advocacy efforts in North Carolina. We encourage you to get involved with the NC Alliance for Health, for more information: NC Alliance for Health

You brought an awareness to NC of what healthy really means, and brought it to many different venues and areas of health. From many ripples, you created a tsunami.

Ken J. Lewis
President, NC Association of Health Plans
Former CEO, FirstCarolinaCare
Prevention Partners Board of Directors, 2007-2010