Million Hearts® Special Features

What are Community-Clinical Linkages?
Community-Clinical Linkages (CCLs) are defined as connections between community and clinical sectors to improve population health by preventing and controlling chronic diseases. Research has shown they improve clinical outcomes in heart disease, blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as support behavioral changes in nutrition, physical activity, and smoking cessation among others

How are Community-Clinical Linkages Created?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed “Community-Clinical Linkages for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases: A Practitioner’s Guide” to assist public health practitioners with developing, implementing and sustaining strong community-clinical linkages.
The CCL Practitioners Guide identifies key seven strategies to establishing linkages:

  1. Learn about community and clinical sectors.
  2. Identify and engage key stakeholders from community and clinical sectors.
  3. Negotiate and agree on goals and objectives of the linkage.
  4. Know which operational structure to implement.
  5. Aim to coordinate and manage the linkage.
  6. Grow the linkage with sustainability in mind.
  7. Evaluate the linkage.

The Million Hearts® Collaboration Community-Clinical Linkages Toolkit (Million Hearts® Collaboration CCL Toolkit) was developed to help public health practitioners implement the seven LINKAGE strategies. The information included in the toolkit was obtained from national, state and local organizations and is organized by strategy. Simply click on each strategy below to review tools and resources that can help you build a community-clinical LINKAGE.

Learn about community and clinical sectors.
Identify and engage key stakeholders from community and clinical sectors.
Negotiate and agree on goals and objectives of the linkage.
Know which operational structure to implement.
Aim to coordinate and manage the linkage.
Grow the linkage with sustainability in mind.
Evaluate the linkage.

The type of information presented for each strategy varies and includes white papers, case studies and examples of specific forms. Strategies that demonstrate how to incorporate community health workers, community pharmacy programs, primary care and community outreach are also included. Additional resources address the use of electronic health records (EHR) and data to identify areas of need and activate funding sources. 

Public health practitioners are key partners in the Million Hearts® initiative. The Million Hearts® Collaboration CCL Toolkit is designed to further their efforts to meet the Million Hearts® goal of preventing heart attacks and strokes by developing and strengthening effective community-clinical linkages.
Special thanks to the Million Hearts® Collaboration Community-Clinical Linkages Workgroup:

  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN)
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD)
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
  • The Ohio State University (OSU)
  • Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA)