Healthy People 2010
Fact Sheet: Healthy People in Healthy Communities

What is Healthy People?

Healthy People is the prevention agenda for the Nation. It is a statement of national opportunities—a strategic management tool that identifies the most significant preventable threats to health and focuses public and private sector efforts to address those threats. Healthy People offers a simple but powerful idea: provide the information and knowledge about how to improve health in a format that enables diverse groups to combine their efforts and work as a team. It is a road map to better health for all, which can be used by many different people, States and communities, professional organizations, and groups whose concern is a particular threat to health, or a particular population group. Healthy People is based on scientific knowledge and is used for decisionmaking and for action.

The Healthy People 2010 framework builds on initiatives pursued over the past two decades. A 1979 Surgeon General’s Report, Healthy People, provided targets to reduce premature mortality in four age groups in the 1980s and was supported by objectives with 1990 endpoints. Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives was released in 1990; it is a comprehensive agenda organized into 22 priority areas, with 319 supporting objectives. Its three overarching goals are to increase years of healthy life, reduce disparities in health among different population groups, and achieve access to preventive health services. Like its predecessors, Healthy People 2010 is being developed through a broad consultation process, characterized by intersectoral collaboration and community participation. Healthy People 2010 is the United States’ contribution to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) "Health for All" strategy.

Development of Healthy People 2010 Objectives

Development of the Healthy People 2010 objectives began with the Healthy People Consortium—a user alliance of 350 national membership organizations and 250 State health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies. At their November 1996 meeting, the Consortium members discussed the Healthy People 2000 framework, goals, and objectives, along with improvements needed to make the 2010 agenda relevant to the first decade of the 21st century. The Stakeholders Report of this meeting can be found on the Healthy People 2000 homepage at

At the 1997 Consortium meeting, speakers representing various racial and ethnic groups emphasized the importance of setting one target for population-based objectives. In the fall of 1997, more than 700 comments were received concerning the framework for Healthy People 2010. In the fall of 1998, people in every State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico contributed more than 11,000 comments in six public hearings and on the Healthy People Web site, The Secretary’s Council on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2010 also advises the Department of Health and Human Services in the development of national health objectives.

State and Community Health Objectives

Nearly all States, the District of Columbia, and Guam have developed their own Healthy People plans. Most States have built on national objectives, but virtually all have tailored them to their specific needs. A 1993 National Association of County and City Health Officials survey showed that 70 percent of local health departments used Healthy People 2000 objectives. The State Healthy People Action Contacts, working with community coalitions, are now framing their own versions of Healthy People 2010. (See the Healthy People Web site for names of your State contacts or to link with State Action Plan Web sites.)

Using Healthy People Objectives

Healthy People objectives have been specified by Congress as the measure for assessing the progress of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. Healthy People objectives have also been used in performance measurement activities, for example, the National Committee on Quality Assurance incorporated many Healthy People targets into its Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS) 3.0, a set of standardized measures for health care purchasers and consumers to use in assessing performance of managed care organizations in the areas of immunizations, mammography screening, and other clinical preventive services.

To encourage groups to integrate Healthy People into current programs, special events, publications, and meetings, all Healthy People materials are in the public domain. Healthy People is used by healthy community coalitions. Businesses use the framework to guide worksite health promotion activities as well as community initiatives. Schools and colleges undertake activities to further the health of children, adolescents, and young adults. By selecting among the national objectives, individuals and organizations can build an agenda for community health improvement and monitor results.


Use Public Comments and Draft Objectives Healthy People 2010 Homepage

Healthy People 2000


Healthy People 2010 Focus Areas

Access to Quality Health Services
Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Chronic Back Conditions*
Chronic Kidney Disease*
Disability and Secondary Conditions*
Educational and Community-Based Programs
Environmental Health
Family Planning
Food Safety
Health Communication*
Heart Disease and Stroke
Immunization and Infectious Diseases
Injury and Violence Prevention
Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
Medical Product Safety*
Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Occupational Safety and Health
Oral Health
Physical Activity and Fitness
Public Health Infrastructure
Respiratory Diseases*
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Substance Abuse
Tobacco Use
Vision and Hearing*
* New Focus Areas

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 738G, Hubert Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201, (202) 205-8583 or 1 (800) 367-4725

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