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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

For Immediate Release

 
NATION’S HEALTH GOALS FOR THE NEW CENTURY OUTLINED IN
HEALTHY PEOPLE INITIATIVE

Data on Health Improvement in this Century Available

Washington, D.C. – The Healthy People 2010 initiative, which sets broad national health goals for the first decade of the new century, will be released on January 25, 2000, at the annual gathering of the Healthy People Consortium taking place at Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala and Surgeon General David Satcher are scheduled to address the Consortium, which will meet January 25-28. The Consortium is a public-private alliance of over 350 national organizations (with 59 million members) and 270 state agencies, that guides the Healthy People initiative along with HHS.

The Healthy People initiative defines the nation’s health agenda and guides policy. It began in 1979 and has enjoyed the bipartisan support of four administrations. Healthy People harnesses the best scientific knowledge and transmits that information into action, from ground-breaking research to far-reaching public awareness campaigns. By identifying the most significant opportunities to improve the health of all Americans, Healthy People helps both public and private sectors focus action toward common health improvement goals, and enables diverse groups to combine their efforts.

Healthy People 2010 will include scientifically supported objectives that will be monitored over the course of the decade, 20002010. The initiative will address the scenarios and trends the country faces in the new century—a larger, more diverse population; the aging of the population; the rising numbers of the uninsured; and a host of new health risks such as emerging infectious disease. The two overarching goals are: increase the quality and years of healthy life and eliminate health disparities.

Updated data on the progress made on Healthy People goals for the current decade will be released in April 1999. This latest data will cover objectives broken down by populations groups, including: infants/children; adolescents/young adults; women; adults; and older adults. Updated health status indicators by state will also be available.

Evaluation of the data to be released in April reveals that three-quarters of the Healthy People objectives for the current decade have been reached or are moving in the right direction. Those areas that the nation is close to meeting include: child and older adult immunizations; breastfeeding; regular dental visits; mammography screening; and consumption of five fruits and vegetables a day. Objectives we have already achieved in this decade include: reduction of child and adolescent/young adult death rates, and the rate of reduction for infant mortality, which is very close to meeting the current national target.

The Healthy People initiative for the 1990s is the second national set of objectives and has served as the basis for developing the objectives for the new decade’s initiative. Healthy People 2010 draft objectives were opened to the public this past year and more than 11,000 comments were received from individuals and organizations in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Currently, all states and many localities use this framework to guide local health policies and programs. Following the national release of Healthy People 2010 in January 2000, states will be releasing their own plans customized to their health improvement priorities.

The Healthy People initiative originated with a 1979 report by the U.S. Surgeon General which established five life stage targets to be achieved over a 10-year period. These same life stages are still tracked and offer an overview of health improvement over the last third of the century.

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Partnerships for Health in the New Millennium          January 24-28, 2000         Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

Updated: 05/01/08