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The Healthy People Program 2020

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

healthy-people-2020The organization “Healthy People” offers scientifically sound ten-year goals for improving the health and well-being of Americans. On December 20, 2010, the organization launched “Healthy People 2020,” an impressive yet attainable, ten-year plan that is intended to improve the Nation’s health. “Healthy People 2020” is a multi-year program that incorporates scientific research with feedback from a variety of individuals and organizations. For the past thirty years, “Healthy People” has established benchmarks to help individuals monitor their long-term health-related progress.

“Healthy People” use the following benchmarks to help people achieve their health-related goals:

  • Positive collaborative relationships with those who share common goals
  • Healthy support systems that encourage personal accountability and responsibility
  • Empowerment and the ability to make educated health decisions
  • The impact of prevention activities on the attainment of personal health-related goals

Vision

As an organization, “Healthy People” strives to help people make informed decisions about their health and well-being so that they can live long, healthy lives.

Mission

“Healthy People 2020” not only strives to identify universally-accepted health improvement objectives, it also educates the public on the importance of following and/or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is important to boost public awareness so that individuals know their options when it comes to their health and well-being. Individuals with medical conditions and/or disabilities need to know that they can improve their conditions by setting achievable goals.

Other “Healthy People 2020” goals include: helping individuals achieve realistic, measurable goals that can be applied at many different levels (locally, state-wide and nationally), encouraging different organizations, companies, groups and individuals to take an active role in reinforcing health-related policies, improving the most effective practices and refining evaluation, research and data collection methods.

Goals

The main goals of “Healthy People 2020” are: to help individuals avoid preventable diseases, injuries and/or disabilities that can shorten and/or reduce the quality of their lives, help all individuals have access to health prevention exams and tests, eliminate health-related discrimination, improve the health of everyone, create a healthy environment that supports healthy eating, exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle and help individuals improve the quality of their lives through education, guidance and the willingness to embrace a healthier lifestyle through all of the various stages of life.

History

“Healthy People 2020” bases its program on the following objectives, goals and initiatives:

  • Health awareness and disease prevention (The 1979 Surgeon General’s report)
  • Raising nationwide awareness on health and preventing diseases (“Healthy People 1990”)
  • Promoting national health and disease prevention goals (“Healthy People 2000”)

New Developments

HealthyPeople.gov was recently awarded with the gold Web Health Award for providing quality online health resources for individuals and health professionals. Organizations were primarily judged on their ability to reach their target health audience and to provide quality online health-related information to individuals. “Healthy  People 2020” has also renewed its focus when it comes to recognizing, assessing, tracking and reducing healthcare inequalities.

Some of the new topics that the organization will be focusing on include: adolescent health, early childhood, middle childhood, blood disorders, blood safety, dementias, global health, quality of life and well-being, elderly, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, sleep health, social health factors, health awareness and health-related infections.

Other new “Healthy People 2020” developments include:

  • “Healthy People 2020” Programs: The goal is to help others implement the program in their communities. “Healthy People 2020” strives to provide individuals with the resources that they need to start a program in the areas that they live in.
  • Evidence-Based Interventions: “Healthy People 2020” topics consist of: the U.S. preventive services: task force clinical preventive services, external web site policies, guides to community preventive services: external web site policies and quick guides to healthy living information for consumers (healthfinder.gov).
  • Social Media: “Healthy People 2020” uses the following social media communication tools: LinkedIn, Twitter and “Healthy People 2020” webinars.
  • Health Indicators: Health indicators suggest that health-related issues continue to be a leading topic. It is important that the public understands the importance disease prevention, healthcare and a healthy lifestyle. Health-related prevention exams and a healthy lifestyle can help improve the quality of an individual’s life. These indicators will be used over the next ten years to assess the health of Americans. The main purpose of “Healthy People 2020” is to help motivate people to take action and improve their health and well-being at the local, state and national levels.


Reference:
Health People. (2013). Home page. Retrieved from http://healthypeople.gov/2020/default.aspx

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