Augmenting Evidence of CDC’s HI-5 Initiative

In recent years, the United States has experienced reductions in public health resources at all levels and continuing changes to the health system. These factors make it increasingly important that state and local decision-makers are proficient identifying and implementing high-impact, cost-effective approaches to address the drivers of poor health and high costs. To better support partners and decision-makers in these efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Health Impact in Five Years (HI-5) Initiative. The HI-5 Initiative shifts the focus beyond traditional clinical approaches to health and explores social and environmental approaches that improve population health and health equity. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CDC Foundation is examining the role of public health in two of the HI-5 interventions. 

One effective policy intervention for some working families is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITCs help eligible families in several ways—from putting money back in the pockets of working people, to reducing food insecurity, to boosting savings and helping people accumulate other assets, to freeing up money for childcare expenses, medical care and healthy food.

It’s important for public health practitioners to understand the benefits of EITCs. EITCs help low-to-moderate-income working people keep more of the money they earn by reducing the taxes they owe. EITCs are one of fourteen interventions that address the social determinants of health in the HI-5 Initiative. 

The CDC Foundation recently published its Earned Income Tax Credit Public Health Action Guide for public health care professionals. This guide includes information on EITCs, how EITCs keep more families and children above the poverty line and their link with positive health outcomes, especially among mothers and children. The CDC Foundation's goal for this guide is to educate public health practitioners on the benefits of EITCs and provide them with the data to inform families, partners, advocates and legislators.

Program Description: To augment the evidence in CDC's Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) initiative to enable public health practitioners and other stakeholders to put HI-5 into action. The CDC Foundation will work with a consortium of stakeholders to synthesize, translate and disseminate lessons learned from states and communities that have enacted and implemented policies related to three social and economic interventions featured in HI-5; identify resources and supports needed for additional states and communities to advance these interventions through policy strategies; and highlight research gaps related to these interventions.
Funding Partners:
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Program Partners:
  • CDC's Office of the Associate Director of Policy
  • Public Health Institute
Program Location:
  • United States of America