Indicators for
Healthy People 2010
sample A Report from the HHS Working Group on
Sentinel Objectives

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

March 1998

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion



Letter to Susanne A. Stoiber from HHS Working Group on
Sentinel Objectives for Healthy People 2000


Section One: Healthy People 2000 and Leading Health Indicators

Background on the Healthy People Initiative
Healthy People as a Means of Establishing Leading Indicators
Enhancing the Focus on Leading Health Indicators

Section Two: The Use of Indicators

Current Health Indicators
Current Economic Indicators
Implications of the Economic Indicator Experience for Healthy People 2010
Relationship of Healthy People 2010 to Strategic Planning and Performance Measurement

Section Three: Potential Models

Section Four: Candidate Sets of Leading Health Indicators

Criteria for Leading Health Indicators
Indicator-Oriented Approaches
Health Status Approach
Health Disparities Approach
Summary Measures/Leading Contributors Approach
Reporting-Oriented Approaches
Monthly Report Approach
Quarterly/Semiannual Report Approach

Section Five: Available Data Sources

Key HHS Data Sources
Other Key Data Sources
Adequacy of Current Data Sources for Monitoring Health

Section Six: Considerations for Implementation

Public Understanding of the Indicators
Importance of the Health Issue
Reliability of Data Sources
Robustness Over Time
Relevance to Program


A.--List of Working Group members
B.--Healthy People Information
C.--Healthy People 2000 Representative Objectives
D.--President's Initiative on Race
E.--Committee 22.1 Health Status Indicators
F.--IOM Indicators for Community Health Status
G.--Key Indicators of Child Well-Being
H.--American Health Foundation Child Health Report Card
I.--State of North Carolina Community Wellness Index
J.--State of Connecticut Report Card
K.--GAO Report Containing ReliaStar State Health Status Index
L.--Leading Economic Indicators



The HHS Working Group on Sentinel Objectives for Healthy People 2010 would like to acknowledge the contributions of many individuals to this report. Leon Gordis and Jonathan Samet provided guidance about methodologic issues during the formation of the working group in October 1997. Jane Durch, Neal Halfon, and Michael Stoto provided input about the uses of indicator sets and recent trends in development of such sets. Matthew McKenna educated the working group about the strengths and weaknesses of summary measures such as disability-adjusted life years. Rosie Dempsey provided consultations about communication issues. Fred Seitz, Kathleen Turczyn, and Colleen Ryan provided information about available data sets. Olivia Carter-Pokras and Phillip Smith attended many of the meetings and made substantial contributions to the report. This also is true for many staff members from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, including Linda Meyers, David Baker, Mary Jo Deering, Matthew Guidry, Debbie Maiese, Dalton Paxman, Janice Radak, Irene Randell, and Mark Smolinski, and for Jennifer Beale, from the National Academy of Sciences. We thank them for their willingness to contribute to this effort.

The working group also extends a special thanks to Susanne Stoiber, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), who conceptualized the leading health indicators as a way to extend the reach of Healthy People beyond health professionals to the public, opinion leaders, and non-health professionals. We appreciate her leadership and the many innovative ideas she shared with us. Finally, we would like to express deep appreciation for the stellar work of Linda Bailey, a member of the working group, who provided vital guidance and support throughout the course of this project.

What's New