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STAR Frequently Asked Questions


What does STAR assess?

STAR assesses the overall chronic disease prevention and control program, not its categorical program elements. STAR examines the extent to which the state’s categorical chronic disease programs are integrated into a comprehensive approach, utilizing the NACDD Framework for Comprehensive Chronic Disease Programs and the Competencies for Chronic Disease Practice. The assessment addresses the core components of a successful state health department chronic disease prevention and control program, including: Leadership, Epidemiology and Surveillance, Informatics/Information Systems, Partnerships, State Plans, Targeted Interventions, Evaluation, Program Management and Administration, and Program Integration.

Why participate in STAR?

States have many reasons for a program review request. In some cases, the program is small and desires growth. In other instances, the program is experiencing rapid growth or facing reorganization or new mandates. Other programs are looking for better ways to integrate, to increase program resources or visibility. Benefits of a visit may include:

  • Increased funding for staff and programs – both internal and external 
  • Increased program visibility within the state health department and externally
  • Legitimizing of the program to agency leadership and partner organizations
  • Development of a clearer program vision and more effective planning
  • Improved networking/collaboration – internally and externally
  • Improved data access, quality and analysis
  • Increased allocation of funds for program evaluation
  • Highlighting of program successes and accomplishments
  • Identification of technical assistance needs
  • Ready information for grant writing
  • Information for designing more effective organizational structure

What steps can I take to apply for STAR?

  • Learn about STAR
  • Plan to serve on a STAR team
  • Submit a letter of intent and letter of support to NACDD
  • Submit a written request for STAR
  • Receive a response from NACDD

Where can I learn more about the STAR process?

The NACDD website ( describes the STAR initiative and contains a variety of downloadable documents, such as the STAR State Guidebook. The website includes information about:

1) the application process
2) preparation for a site visit, agenda development, and background information
3) logistics of the visit itself, including interviews, reading the draft report, and debriefing
4) following up on recommendations
5) evaluating outcomes from the program review.

How can our Chronic Disease Program apply for STAR?

Download the STAR State/Territory Application

Download the STAR Guide for States/Territories

The core components of the application remain consistent from year to year, although the guidelines for applications may be modified somewhat. The written request for STAR includes the rationale or need for the visit, a brief description of the state’s chronic disease program, and a SWOT analysis.