About Larry

larry-croppedFounder and Executive Director of Prevention Institute

Larry Cohen, Founder and Executive Director of Prevention Institute, has been an advocate for public health, social justice, and prevention since 1972. Larry established Prevention Institute in 1997 as a national non-profit center dedicated to improving community health and well-being by building momentum for effective primary prevention. Prevention Institute’s work is characterized by a systems approach to prevention, a strong emphasis on community participation, and promotion of equitable health outcomes among all social and economic groups.

Awards and Accolades

Larry has received numerous awards, including the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section Public Service Award from the American Public Health Association, the Secretary’s Award for Health Promotion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the LA Violence Prevention Coalition’s Angel of Peace Award, and recognition from the American Cancer Society and the Society for Public Health Educators. He received his MSW from SUNY Stony Brook.


prevention_is_primaryPrevention is Primary

Larry’s seminal publication on prevention, Prevention is Primary, is a deeper dive into prevention policy and its practical applications. The book provides models, methods, and approaches for building health and equity in communities. This comprehensive book includes the theory, concepts, and models needed to harness social justice and practice primary prevention of unnecessary illness and injury.

With contributions from noted experts, Prevention Is Primary shows practical applications of intervention science to social and health problems and issues facing at-risk and vulnerable groups. The book describes the overarching framework and principles guiding prevention efforts, including a focus on social justice and health equity, and community resilience.