Healthy People 2020 sets the Nation’s health agenda. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in partnership with other Federal agencies and with broad, cross-cutting stakeholder input. For three decades, Healthy People has provided a comprehensive set of national, 10-year health promotion and disease prevention objectives aimed at improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 identifies nearly 600 objectives with 1,200 measures across 39 topic areas. It aims to involve anyone and everyone interested in improving health in our communities.
One goal of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), which manages the initiative, is to extend the use and value of Healthy People to those who may not traditionally consider themselves “public health professionals.” These professionals include city planners, educators, and those working in agriculture, labor, veteran’s affairs, housing, and environmental protection.
Healthy People 2020 and Women’s Health
Most Healthy People objectives are focused on improving the health of the general population; however, some topic areas specifically focus on women’s health, including the Family Planning and Maternal, Infant, and Child Health topic areas. Additionally, for the first time, Healthy People includes a topic area on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health. Objectives for this new topic area are currently in development and will be released in the coming months.
By covering important services that help preserve and protect a woman’s health, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also supports many of the objectives related to women’s health in Healthy People 2020. Due to the historic new guidelines that are part of the ACA beginning in August 2012, women will receive important preventive health services at no additional cost. These services include well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception.
To learn more about women’s health services currently covered by the ACA, visit http://www.healthfinder.gov/prevention/ACA-crosswalk.aspx#women.
There are a number of ways individuals can get involved in implementing and spreading the word about Healthy People:
- Link to HealthyPeople.gov.
- Follow @gohealthypeople on Twitter.
- Join over 1,700 public health professionals in our LinkedIn group.
- Sign up your organization as a Healthy People Consortium Member.
- Implement Healthy People using the MAP-IT framework.
- Post a Web badge to your Web site or blog.
- Mention Healthy People 2020 in your next e-newsletter.
- Use Healthy People to make the case for funding.
- Sign up for email updates to stay informed.