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Healthy People 2020

Article / Review by on November 4, 2011 – 6:07 pmNo Comments

Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020

Healthy People in Healthy Communities

What Is Healthy People?
Healthy People is a set of goals and objectives with 10-year targets designed to guide national health promotion and disease prevention efforts to improve the health of all people in the United States.

Released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services each decade, Healthy People reflects the idea that setting objectives and providing science-based benchmarks to track and monitor progress can motivate and focus action. Healthy People 2020 represents the fourth generation of this initiative, building on a foundation of three decades of work.

Healthy People is used as a tool for strategic management by the federal government, states, communities, and many other public- and private-sector partners. Its comprehensive set of objectives and targets is used to measure progress for health issues in specific populations, and serves as (1) a foundation for prevention and wellness activities across various sectors and within the federal government, and (2) a model for measurement at the state and local levels.

What’s New in Healthy People 2020?
Healthy People 2020 is committed to the vision of a society in which all people live long, healthy lives. This decade, several new features will help make this vision a reality:
• Emphasizing ideas of health equity that address social determinants of health and promote health across all stages of life
• Replacing the traditional print publication with an interactive Web site as the main vehicle for dissemination
• Maintaining a Web site that allows users to tailor information to their needs and explore evidence-based resources for implementation Healthy People 2020 Healthy People in Healthy Communities.

The Mission, Vision, and Goals of Healthy People 2020

Vision—A society in which all people live long, healthy lives.

Mission—Healthy People 2020 strives to:
• Identify nationwide health improvement priorities
• Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease, and disability, and the opportunities for progress
• Provide measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, state, and local levels
• Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge
• Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs

Overarching Goals
• Attain high quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death
• Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups
• Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all
• Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages

Foundation Health Measures

Healthy People 2020 includes broad, cross-cutting measures without targets that will be used to assess progress toward achieving the four overarching goals.

Overarching Goals of Healthy People 2020 Foundation Measures Category Measures of Progress
Attain high quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death General Health Status • Life expectancy
• Healthy life expectancy
• Physical and mental unhealthy days
• Self-assessed health status
• Limitation of activity
• Chronic disease prevalence
• International comparisons (where available)
Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups Disparities and Inequity Disparities/inequity to be assessed by:
• Race/ethnicity
• Gender
• Socioeconomic status
• Disability status
• Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender status
• Geography
Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all Social Determinants of Health Determinants can include:
• Social and economic factors
• Natural and built environments
• Policies and programs
Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being • Well-being/satisfaction
• Physical, mental, and social health-related quality of life
• Participation in common activities


New to Healthy People 2020: Leading Health Indicators

Healthy People 2020 includes a small set of high-priority health issues that represent significant threats to the public’s health. Selected from the Healthy People 2020 objectives, the 26 Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), organized under 12 topic areas, address determinants of health that promote quality of life, healthy behaviors, and healthy development across all life stages. The LHIs provide a way to assess the health of the Nation for key areas, facilitate collaboration across diverse sectors, and motivate action at the national, State, and local levels.

Leading Health Indicators

12 Topic Areas 26 Leading Health Indicators
Access to Health Services • Persons with medical insurance
• Persons with a usual primary care provider
Clinical Preventive Services • Adults who receive a colorectal cancer screening based on the most recent guidelines
• Adults with hypertension whose blood pressure is under control
• Adult diabetic population with an A1c value greater than 9 percent
• Children aged 19 to 35 months who receive the recommended doses of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP); polio; measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib); hepatitis B; varicella; and pneumococcal conjugate (PCV) vaccines
Environmental Quality • Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeding 100
• Children aged 3 to 11 years exposed to secondhand smoke
Injury and Violence • Fatal injuries
• Homicides
Maternal, Infant, and Child Health • Infant deaths
• Preterm births
Mental Health • Suicides
• Adolescents who experience major depressive episodes (MDEs)
Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity • Adults who meet current Federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic physical activity and muscle-strengthening activity
• Adults who are obese
• Children and adolescents who are considered obese
• Total vegetable intake for persons aged 2 years and older
Oral Health • Persons aged 2 years and older who used the oral health care system in the past 12 months
Reproductive and Sexual Health • Sexually active females aged 15–44 years who received reproductive health services in the past 12 months
• Persons living with HIV who know their serostatus
Social Determinants • Students who graduate with a regular diploma 4 years after starting ninth grade
Substance Abuse • Adolescents using alcohol or any illicit drugs during the past 30 days
• Adults engaging in binge drinking during the past 30 days
Tobacco • Adults who are current cigarette smokers
• Adolescents who smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days

Leading Health Indicators Framework
The Healthy People 2020 LHIs were selected and organized using a health determinants and health outcomes by life stages conceptual framework. This approach is intended to draw attention to “upstream” determinants that affect the public’s health and contribute to health disparities from infancy through old age, thereby highlighting strategic opportunities to improve health and quality of life for all Americans. Collectively, the LHIs support Healthy People 2020’s overarching goals.

• The LHIs, Health Determinants, and Health Disparities
Recognizing that factors related to social and physical environments, multi-sector policies, individual behaviors, health services, and biology and genetics influence the ability of individuals and communities to make progress on these indicators, the LHIs will be examined using a health determinants perspective. Addressing determinants is key to improving health disparities and overall population health.

• The LHIs Across the Life Stages
The LHIs will also be examined using a life stages perspective. This approach recognizes that specific disease outcomes, risk factors, and health determinants need to be addressed at various stages across the lifespan and highlights the importance of tailoring strategies to fit a particular age group.

Taking Action To Improve Everyone’s Health
The LHIs are intended to motivate action at the national, State, and local levels, as well as among individuals, families, and communities. The indicators can help us best focus our energies—at home and in our communities, worksites, businesses, or States—to live better and longer.

Visit to learn more about the LHIs and what action is being taken to address Healthy People 2020. Taking Action To Improve Everyone’s Health.

Topic Areas

The Topic Areas of Healthy People 2020 identify and group objectives of related content, highlighting specific issues and populations. Each Topic Area is assigned to one or more lead agencies within the federal government that is responsible for developing, tracking, monitoring, and periodically reporting on objectives.
1. Access to Health Services
2. Adolescent Health
3. Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Chronic Back Conditions
4. Blood Disorders and Blood Safety
5. Cancer
6. Chronic Kidney Disease
7. Dementias, Including Alzheimer’s Disease
8. Diabetes
9. Disability and Health
10. Early and Middle Childhood
11. Educational and Community-Based Programs
12. Environmental Health
13. Family Planning
14. Food Safety
15. Genomics
16. Global Health
17. Healthcare-Associated Infections
18. Health Communication and Health Information Technology
19. Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being
20. Hearing and Other Sensory or Communication Disorders
21. Heart Disease and Stroke
22. HIV
23. Immunization and Infectious Diseases
24. Injury and Violence Prevention
25. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
26. Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
27. Medical Product Safety
28. Mental Health and Mental Disorders
29. Nutrition and Weight Status
30. Occupational Safety and Health
31. Older Adults
32. Oral Health
33. Physical Activity
34. Preparedness
35. Public Health Infrastructure
36. Respiratory Diseases
37. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
38. Sleep Health
39. Social Determinants of Health
40. Substance Abuse
41. Tobacco Use
42. Vision Healthy People 2020. Topic Areas.



* The above information is adapted from materials provided by USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
** More information at USA Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


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