Health promotion is described by the World Health Organization as "the science and art of helping people change their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health." Optimal health is defined as a balance of physical, emotion, social, spiritual and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be made easier through a combination of efforts to increase knowledge, change behavior and create environments that support good health practices. (M. O'Donnell, 1989)

The MDPH encourages the use evidence-based health promotion; identifying effective interventions built on research findings and applying them to improve the health and well-being of individuals, groups, or communities.

The Healthy Aging and Disability Unit is a statewide leader for several evidence-based health promotion programs, including My Life, My Health Chronic Disease Self-Management, Matter of Balance: Falls Prevention, and Healthy Eating for Successful living in Older Adults.


This information is provided by the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention within the Department of Public Health.