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Population Health

Convening to chart the course

On pressing topics of the day, ACE periodically serves as convener of some of most respected minds in preventative health, disease prevention, public health, and more.

In 2016-2018, ACE convened the Prescription for Activity (PfA) Task Force, a group of 50-plus thought leaders in preventive health, disease prevention, care delivery, medical education, public health, fitness, community health and more, representing academia, business and government.

The PfA Task Force developed a systems-change map to chart the course for how healthcare, working in concert with the communities it serves, can be mobilized to its full potential to help more Americans reach recommended physical-activity levels.

Call to Long-Term Action

In the spring of 2018, the ACE-convened Prescription for Activity (PfA) Task Force issues a call to action to leaders and influences in healthcare and the communities it serves. It spells out what leaders across sectors can do to turn the PfA systems-change map into meaningful action and long-term impact.

Recommendations for: Leaders in healthcare delivery, infrastructure, policy, payment and support

Make regular assessment, monitoring, referral and counseling on physical activity a routine part of clinical care.

Provide physical-activity interventions based on evidence-based best practices, delivered directly in the community, so that it will be integral to care delivery for all.

Develop the information architecture, processes and workflows necessary to assess and prescribe physical activity, and to enable referrals by clinicians to programs, providers and places that deliver physical-activity-based interventions.

Forge payment, financing, delivery and evaluation systems to support and sustain medically necessary physical activity across the preventive-care spectrum.

Recommendations for: Leaders in public health, health advocacy, disease prevention and health investment

Create community-sourced health improvement through physical activity, regardless of age, ethnicity, geographic location or income, and with particular focus on those with greatest need.

Spur a shift in culture that increases enthusiasm and support for physical activity among all Americans so that healthcare can prompt more individuals and families to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Recommendations for: Trusted influencers and practitioners in communities nationwide

Establish policies and infrastructure to equip communities to meet the physical-activity needs of their residents, support a well-trained workforce to deliver community-based physical-activity interventions, advocate for the integration of such interventions into clinical care, and unlock greater funding for physical activity in communities.

Insist that every community and every person within it has accessible, safe and appealing places and ways to become and remain physically active for individual and whole-community health.

What the systems-change map means for ACE

Prescription for Activity (PfA) systems-change map is a guiding light for ACE, informing our long-term plans for how we equip and situate ACE Certified Professionals and others who've been similarly armed with science-based behavior-change coaching skills to help far more people to get and stay moving.

The PfA systems-change map shapes ACE's efforts today in many areas including:

  • The education and certification we offer, as ACE seeks to both significantly increase the number of ACE Certified Health Coaches and provide current clinical practitioners and other health providers with the opportunity to upskill themselves in current science in behavior-change coaching to meet their growing role as a provider of information on how to live an active, healthy life.
  • Issue advocacy, calling on ACE to advocate for the public and corporate policies called for in the PfA systems-change map.
  • Our community-engagement work, guiding ACE to support and enhance high-quality physical-activity experiences in vulnerable communities.
  • The research studies we commission, calling on ACE to be part of the evidence gathering on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of physical activity-based behavior-change interventions.

Beliefs shaped by a systems-change map

ACE believes that ACE Certified Professionals and others who've been similarly equipped with current science in behavior-change coaching are a qualified workforce in waiting. They are health coaches and behavior-change practitioners who can extend the reach of the clinic and deliver appropriately designed physical-activity interventions where people live, work, play and pray.

The programs they are trained to facilitate are poised to be a key piece of the preventive-care puzzle. The ACE-convened Prescription for Activity Task Force charts the course for how they ultimately are deployed and utilized.