Monday, October 27, 2008

Healthy People needs you!

Have an opinion on how healthy Americans should be? Now is your time to speak up and have your say. The federal government is calling on public health workers to step up to the plate and play a role in the development of the next edition of Healthy People, the landmark document that sets goals and objectives for the health of the nation.

Developed with input from a broad range of public and private stakeholders, Healthy People is used by states, communities, federal agencies and others to improve the health of Americans. The most recent edition of Healthy People, released in 2010, contains 467 objectives on a range of public health issues, such as vision, mental health, immunization and tobacco use.

Work is now well under way on Healthy People 2020, the much-anticipated new edition, with a framework for the plan expected to be released this December or January, according to Penelope Slade Royall, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, who addressed APHA Annual Meeting attendees yesterday.

“I think that Healthy People is one of the best things that is coordinated by the federal government,” said Royall, who is also U.S. deputy assistant secretary for health. “Healthy People is a widely trusted, tested commodity. It has evolved as the nation’s health priorities have evolved.”

Healthy People leaders plan to spend the next year gathering input and feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, with the complete set of 2020 goals and objectives to be released in January 2010.

In the meantime, Royall called on public health workers to become involved in the Healthy People 2020 process, encouraging people to provide comments online, attend Healthy People Advisory Committee meetings (the next one will be held online Dec. 17) or join the Healthy People Consortium, a group of agencies and organizations that work to support Healthy People.

“We need opinion and input from many people,” Royall said. “You are important to us. Healthy People needs you.”

— M.L.

No comments: