School of Medicine


Preventive Medicine Residency


Useful Resources for Preventive Medicine Residents



Databases of Systematic Reviews
Population health and statistics
Advocacy, Policy, and Law
Clinical Prevention
Environmental Health
Global Health
Health Promotion
International Health Systems
Maternal and Child Health
Mental Health and Substance Abuse




National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) official website

NACCHO represents a prominent voice in U.S. public health. Activities include communication, advocacy, education, and promotion of best practices. The website includes not only topics of current interests within the sub-disciplines of public health, but also a public health 'Toolbox' containing compiled resources to assist the work of public health professionals and a database of model practices.


CDC's Public Health Grand Rounds

These monthly webcasts discuss timely public health issues in terms of evidence, practice implications, and future research needs. The main page provides a link to multiple years of archived webcasts on a large range of topics.


Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School courses

IHI offers a growing list of high-quality online modules which are available with your free IHI membership. They focus primarily on quality improvement and patient safety, but also cover patient- and family-center care, leadership, management, and population health topics.



Databases of systematic reviews


The Community Guide to Preventive Services

This collection of systematic reviews covering over 210 topics in 18 topic areas is compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Task Force on Community and Preventive Services. This enhanced web version of the well-known book is concise and highly readable. For a given public health topic, the evidence on one or more interventions is summarized, used to determine whether an intervention is recommended, recommended against, or cannot be recommended for or against given insufficient evidence. These reviews not only answer the question "does the intervention work", but also addresses "in what contexts does the intervention work best". When an intervention is deemed effective, an attempt is made to evaluate its economic efficiency.


Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

The Cochrane database is the most reputable database of authoritative systematic reviews on a range of topics related to human health. To get full-text reviews, you will need to be on the CWRU campus or connected to the CWRU network via vpn.

Funded by the Canadian government, this is an extensive, searchable, open-access database of systematic reviews in the areas of public health and health promotion. Included in the database are summaries (but not full-text versions) of relevant Cochrane systematic reviews. Two experts rate the methodological quality of each review; search results can be sorted by methodological quality.


The Campbell Collaboration

Based in Norway, this site provides an open access database of high quality systematic reviews from experts around the world on topics in the areas of education, criminal justice, and social welfare. These reviews are highly readable but do not cover all areas of public health.



Population health and statistics


Health, United States

Each year the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics produces this comprehensive report describing trends in health statistics. Hundreds of tables and figures are freely available describing trends in vital statistics, disease burden, behavioral risk factors, and much, much more. This is an excellent source for presentation or proposal visual aids.


CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (CDC WONDER)

This online portal can be used to identify and link to all CDC datasets (including those on which CDC collaborates with other groups) of public health relevance. These include—among many others—BRFSS, SEER, natality data, mortality data, population projections, and disease surveillance data.


Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing (NEO CANDO)

Housed at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in the CWRU Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, this powerful tool allows one to search, organize, and integrate property, social, and economic data from numerous sources. These sources include the U.S. Census, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools, the Cleveland Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Auditor and Recorder, the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, and others. After creating a free account, you can produce and export customized charts, tables, and maps, organizing by geographic levels ranging from census block (approximately a street block) to county. The most detailed data is for the City of Cleveland, followed by Cuyahoga County at large. Data from certain sources is available for the entire 17 county Northeast Ohio region.



Advocacy, policy, and law

This is probably the most comprehensive site devoted to health policy education. It contains a large array of issue modules, tutorials, and research resources for a full range of health policy topics. This is a great resource!


Two excellent websites dedicated to providing accurate, timely information on health reform and its implementation


National Health Policy Forum

This service is sponsored primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the W.J. Kellogg Foundation. It mainly targets Congressional and federal agency staffers and offers high-quality, non-partisan issue briefs and background papers on health policy topics of current interest. National Health Policy Forum "Basics" offer short primers to answer basic questions on programs and practices.


APHA Advocacy and Policy page

This section of the American Public Health Association's website features a number of well-written issue briefs and fact sheets on central public health policy topics.


Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce

This site is the result of collaboration between U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries. While it is not intended to serve as a database for systematic reviews, and the search interface leaves much to be desired, it does serve as a clearinghouse for key documents and links pertaining to many public health topics. In addition, there is a section of the site which provides links to numerous open access public health journals.


Uwe Reinhardt's New York Times columns on health systems and policy

Uwe Reinhardt is a Princeton Health Economist and prolific contributor to top journals and the popular press on topics related to health. Particularly useful is a primer on how hospitals get paid (


CDC's Public Health Law website

This site provides resources, including some introductory training materials, for public health practitioners and policy makers to understand the range of laws pertaining to public health – from communicable diseases, to public safety, to emergency preparedness.



This open access site provides an indexed, searchable, online repository of the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code.



Clinical Prevention


CDC's Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases ("The Pink Book"), 12 edition (May 2012)

This is a wonderful resource for authoritative information on specific vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases as well as general principles of vaccines and vaccination, vaccine storage and handling, and vaccine safety.


CDC's Online Immunization Courses

This collection of archived webcasts and web-based educational modules offer an efficient way to stay current on the latest evidence and ACIP recommendations around immunization. Free CME credit is available for some items.


Guide to Clinical Preventive Services

Accessed via NLM's Health Services/Health Technology Assessment (HSTAT) website:

Produced by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), this is widely considered the authoritative guidance for individual primary and secondary clinical preventive services. The guide summarizes the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concerning over 80 target conditions. For each condition, the results of USPSTF systematic reviews on accuracy/effectiveness of screening, counseling, immunization, and chemoprophylaxis interventions are summarized; the burden of suffering is described; and final recommendations are made using an A through E scale where…

  • A = Good evidence to recommend intervention
  • B = Fair evidence to recommend
  • C = Insufficient evidence to make a recommendation
  • D = Fair evidence to recommend AGAINST
  • E = Good evidence to recommend AGAINST.

In addition, the guide reviews the recommendations of other bodies.


Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS)

This free, interactive application can be accessed via the web or downloaded and installed on many types of personal digital assistants (PDA's) and smart phones. It allows one to obtain age- and gender-specific screening, counseling, and preventive medication recommendations based on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations.


Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse

Recent improvements have made this site a user-friendly means to quickly obtain structured, standardized summaries of clinical guidelines which meet certain inclusion criteria. These summaries are searchable by topic or issuing organization. Links or references for full guidelines are generally available. "Guideline Synthesis" and "Guideline Compare" are two powerful features that allow one to compare all guidelines, or a selected set of guidelines, covering a specific topic in terms of areas of agreement/disagreement, methodology, and funding.



Environmental Health



This service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) permits one to search a comprehensive group of databases on toxic substances simultaneously. Among these databases:

  • TOXLINE – Can search toxicology literature beyond what might be found on PUBMED, including books
  • Hazardous Substances Databank – Comprehensive, peer-reviewed toxicology data for over 4,700 chemicals
  • Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System - Carcinogenicity and mutagenicity test results for over 8,000 chemicals
  • LactMed – Database containing information on the safety of common drugs during lactation
  • Household Products Database – Describes handling, disposal, ingredients, and health effects of thousands of household products
  • HazMap – Links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms – can search up by job, disease, or agent
  • Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) – Database of reported toxin releases from U.S. facilities
  • TOXMAP – Maps TRI data



This site is maintained by CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It provides concise information sheets suitable for the public pertaining to a few hundred common environmental toxins.


Enivronmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) "My Environment" site

For a given zip code, city, state, or body of water, users can access profiles including the following:

  • My Air – Current and historical data on air quality index (AQI), ozone levels, particulate matter, and other pollutants
  • My Water – Water quality assessments for local waterways, information on drinking water sources, fish advisories, discharge permits
  • My energy – Energy sources, energy consumption, options for green power in your area


EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

IRIS is a database of EPA risk assessments and supporting documentation for over 540 substances which the agency has investigated. 'Quick Views' and 'IRIS Summaries' provide key information in a digestible form.



Global Health


World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is the authoritative source for matters of global health. The website is vast and includes frequently-updated news items covering ongoing global health situations. One of the most useful aspects is the comprehensive collection of health profiles by country. These include information on immunization rates, vital statistics, infectious disease burden, and country-specific risk factors.


The Kaiser Foundation's Global Health Website

This site offers up-to-date information on global health issues by topic and by country. The emphasis is on the role of the U.S. in global health.



Health Promotion


CDC's Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice

This site offers resources for planning a health promotion campaign (including understanding the target audience) as well as links to health promotion materials.



International Health Systems


Commonwealth Fund International Profiles of Health Care Systems

This site includes detailed profiles and comparisons of health systems in 13 countries in Europe, North America, and Australia.


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Health Policies and Data site

This page is a clearinghouse of information on the structure, costs, and outcomes of the health systems of OECD countries. Included are links to the most recent Health at a Glance report providing key statistics and comparisons. One can also access a large database of OECD health system data. International Health Systems site

This site provides a bibliography of data sources, journal articles, and videos comparing health systems around the world.



Maternal and Child Health


The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University

This site offers resources to families, schools, and professionals. The section for professionals features lists of resources on over 80 topics in maternal and child health as well as a directory of online multimedia resources. In addition, there is a community services locator which provides location-specific information on resources for childcare, education, violence prevention, financial assistance, and more.



Mental Health and Substance Abuse


National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP):

Produced by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), this open access site features systematic reviews prepared by SAMHSA staff on substance abuse and mental health topics.


Evidence-based Practice in Substance Abuse Treatment

This portion of the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, provides links to some specialized databases of evidence-based practices pertaining to the impact of substance abuse on families and children.


Oregon's Addictions and Mental Health Services list of approved practices

This site does not provide a searchable database but has a large list of interventions by discipline that it has deemed "evidence-based". For most programs, there is a link for further information. For many, there is contact information for organizations with experience implementing featured programs.


Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Substance Abuse Database

A joint project of the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute and the Northwest Frontier Addiction Technology Transfer Center, this resource allows users to search a small database of profiles describing substance abuse interventions which are considered evidence based. Each profile contains a description of the intervention or program, literature references, and—when available—information for learning more about program implementation.





CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response site

This vast and authoritative resource offers concise information targeted to both the lay public and professionals.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality' (AHRQ's) Public Health Preparedness site

This site contains numerous tools, evidence reports, links, meeting notices, etc. related to public health and bioterrorism preparedness.


Resource Guide for Public Health Preparedness

This open access resource stems from collaboration between the New York Academy of Medicine Library and the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). It consists of a database of preparedness-related guidelines, fact sheets, reports, and links. Monthly email alerts on new resources are available.


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate Training and Education site

This site offers a number of online courses, including some in the areas of effective media communication and the Incident Command System framework.


WHO's Effective Media Communications during Public Health Emergencies handbook

The site offers links to a full version, a shortened field guide version, and a summary wall chart describing the World Health Organization's recommended seven-step process for communicating via the media during public health emergencies.


National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Public Health Preparedness Site

Here, NACCHO provides some useful public health preparedness tools and educational resources for local public health professionals.



Please email Johnie Rose, MD with any suggestions for additional resources.