Ensuring the delivery of preventive services for all : the SPARC action guide
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Ensuring the delivery of preventive services for all : the SPARC action guide

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  • Alternative Title:
    Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration action guide;SPARC action guide;
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  • Description:
    Seven clinical preventive services are recommended for all adults: influenza and pneumococcal vaccination; screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer; and cholesterol and high blood pressure screening. Delivery of this core set of services has been shown to prevent much unnecessary illness and death and to significantly reduce healthcare costs. Yet, fewer than 25% of adults aged 50 to 64, and less than 40% of adults age 65 and older, are up to date with them.

    An innovative approach called SPARC, or Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration, makes it possible to close this gap. Conceived in 1994 by two physicians in New York City, SPARC was originally implemented in four adjacent counties at the intersection of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York and subsequently tested by nine counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area. After close scrutiny and evaluation, the SPARC model has proven successful in broadening the delivery of clinical preventive services and is now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for other communities around the country seeking to improve and protect the health of their residents.

    The Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to share a “beta version” of a valuable resource, titled Ensuring the Delivery of Preventive Services for All: The SPARC Action Guide. To date, SPARC (which stands for Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration) has been successfully implemented in a few select communities. With this Action Guide, CDC expects to expand the SPARC network and extend the benefits of clinical preventive services to greater numbers of older adults. While this beta version is NOT the final version of the Action Guide, its early release is intended to promote expeditious testing so that its quality can be improved through real-life experiences.

    Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions of this guide are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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