National center for disease prevention and health promotion

Responsible: Dr. Angela Spinelli 
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4012 


Center activities 

The fundamental elements of the mission of the National center for disease prevention and health promotion (CNaPPS) are: 

  • to coordinate and support efforts for disease prevention and health promotion at the national and international level 
  • to search for and experiment effective methods for prevention and health promotion 
  • to build an integrated approach to prevention with multidisciplinary skills 
  • to promote sustainable and evidence-based interventions and assess their impact 

CNaPPS intends to acquire a national reference role for the development of health promotion and disease prevention and to contribute to the activities of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) in this area, by carrying out translational activities between scientific evidence and public health, between the knowledge generated by research projects and the improvement of prevention programs and services. The activities of CNaPPS are developed according to a life course approach that takes into account all phases of life (from before conception to old ages) in order to plan interventions where it is possible to reach specific targets of the population. CNaPPS also promotes an intersectoral and multi-stakeholder approach, with joint actions of various sectors, health and non-healthcare, and in a close alliance with the citizen, inspired by the principles of empowerment, oriented to the enhancement of personal and community resources to encourage healthy choices. 


Organization of the center 

Within CNaPPS there are three units and an operations center: 

Unit of promotion and evaluation of chronic disease prevention policies 

Responsible: Dr. Nicola Vanacore 
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4243 

This unit contributes to the promotion and evaluation of policies for prevention and the adoption of integrated programs for chronic diseases, through participation in institutional committees and research activities in public health and through promotion, production and evaluation of scientific evidence. It makes use of multidisciplinary skills, ranging from clinical and psychological to epidemiological, economic and statistical. 

Among the main activities: 

  • activities related to the implementation of the National dementia plan and the National prevention plan 
  • management of the Dementia Observatory site (link to the Italian website) and dynamic online map of dedicated services 
  • participation in European and international research projects on specific issues (European joint action ActOnDementia on dementia policies; European IPAAC joint action Innovative Partnership on Action Against Cancer which provides tools to evaluate preventive interventions and program resources to be allocated to oncology) 
  • development of models and tools for the evaluation of therapeutic strategies and health costs in the various stages of the disease (BD2DECIDE and EPICOST project) 
  • public health research activities under the programs of the Ministry of Health (CCM programs) 
  • projects related to patients with ALS, pediatric ataxia, hydrocephalus, Parkinson's disease, cognitive disorders and dementia, with the aim to create professional networks and pathology registries, carry out research and produce specific evidence for the respective pathologies 
  • promotion and participation in studies for the development, adaptation and validation of tools and questionnaires for clinical and research activities 
  • training and updating activities aimed at operators in the National Health Service (SSN) 

Unit of women's, children's and adolescents health  
Responsible: Dr. Serena Donati 
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4318 

This unit coordinates public health research activities in the obstetrics, perinatal and child-adolescent fields. Through surveillance and research, it provides knowledge and useful evidence to decision-makers, health professionals and citizens for the improvement of the quality of assistance to women's sexual and reproductive health, and for the dissemination of interventions for the promotion of healthy lifestyles among children and adolescents. 

Among the main activities: 

  • development and management of population-based surveillance systems 
  • implementation and development of analysis in current health flows (death certificates, birth attendance certificates, hospital discharge forms) 
  • carrying out population-based epidemiological studies capable of linking the results of surveillance and research to policies and action, involving stakeholders 
  • training for healthcare professionals, both residential and at a distance  
  • creation of evidence-based guidelines within the National Guidelines System (SNLG) of the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) 

Unit of risk factor surveillance and health promotion strategies 
Responsible: Dr. Barbara De Mei 
phone: (+39) 4990 4272 

The main objective is to contribute to the identification and implementation of health prevention and promotion actions through the monitoring of risk factors, the production of evidence and the sharing (including international projects) of good practices useful for guiding the public health policies, according to the principle of "health in all policies". 

Among the main activities: 

  • collaboration with the Ministry of Health through participation in working groups 
  • agreements with the Regions for the development of prevention and health promotion programs 
  • coordination of surveillance systems for behavioral risk factors related to health in the adult and elderly population (PASSI and PASSI d'Argento) and communication activities related to the results of these surveillance systems
  • coordination of national surveys, research projects and observational studies on the interventions to combat risk factors for health 
  • creation and consolidation of networks with relevant stakeholders for the prevention and promotion of health: Healthy Cities Network, Federfarma, Federanziani, Unicef, Save the Children, Civil Protection 
  • participation in European and international research projects in the trial of participatory communication approaches and for follow up on specific issues, such as the monitoring and promotion of physical activity of people over the age of 64 to combat fragility and the reduction of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents (dissemination activities) 
  • development and use of communication tools differentiated by target and communication objectives: reports, brochures and information posters (OKkio alla SALUTE - The Results 2019), social networks, counseling 
  • coordination of the Epicentro website (link to the Italian website), the Guadagnare Salute website (link to the Italian website) and the national epidemiological bulletin (BEN) 
  • training to support the regional prevention plan with the creation of university master’s degrees in health promotion and the design and implementation of in-person and remote training modules on health prevention and promotion issues 

Italian national registry of assisted reproductive technology (ART) 
Responsible: Dr. Giulia Scaravelli 
phone: (+39) 06 4990 4050-4306 

The fundamental objective of the Register, funded by the Ministry of Health, is to outline the epidemiological framework of assisted reproduction in our country, providing a complete and exhaustive panorama of all the activities carried out by the medically assisted reproductive technology centers (ART) operating in the area. 

Every year the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) provides the Minister of Health with a report that outlines the activity of the ART centers, which enbles the evaluation, from an epidemiological point of view, the safety and efficacy of the techniques used and the interventions carried out. 

The Registry collects anonymous and aggregated annual data from all Italian centers that apply assisted reproductive technology on treatment cycles, on the therapeutic protocols used, on the complications, on the results obtained and on the follow-up of pregnancies and births. In addition, the Registry collects information on the cryopreservation cycles of female gametes, a technique that is an important alternative for the treatment of infertility and an opportunity to preserve the reproductive capacity in patients who have to undergo surgery or anticancer treatments (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) or who have pathologies affecting the ovary or endometrium. 

The Registry promotes studies and research and is functionally connected with other European (EIM - European IVF Monitoring) and international (ICMART - International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies) Registries. 

All data are collected anonymously by the Italian National Institute of Health.   

Its specific site connects ART centers with each other and with institutions; it is a service for infertile couples, allowing them to make informed choices regarding centers and treatments; it is a tool for ART centers to which data on the activity carried out annually is sent and has access to the information within their competence; it provides a service for the Regions, giving access to information on the centers operating in their territory and to monitor their activity.