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By Surgeon General David Satcher

Ten years from now Americans on the whole should enjoy substantially better health. Guiding the way will be Healthy People 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative being launched on January 25, 2000. Healthy People 2010 defines the Nation's health agenda through broad reaching goals. It is a roadmap showing opportunities for improvements in health that is grounded in science, built through public consensus, and designed to measure progress.

Joining me at the launch will be HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala, former HHS Secretary Louis Sullivan, former Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health Julius Richmond, many former HHS Assistant Secretaries, and other leaders and representatives of the more than 350 organizations of the Healthy People Consortium.

HHS Secretary Shalala describes Healthy People as an initiative that "Identifies the most significant opportunities to improve the health of the Nation and to focus public and private sector efforts on those areas."

The launch of Healthy People 2010 will take place at the Partnerships for Health in the New Millennium conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC (information available at or call 1-800-869-1551). The conference also will host the release of "Leading Health Indicators," a subset of objectives that define key health issues that can motivate action and exert positive influences over health outcomes. They will become basic building blocks for community health initiatives and help monitor health improvements by targeting behaviors.

The experience and expertise of so many in the medical and health professions have helped us cross the finish line with an excellent national prevention agenda for the next decade. It is indeed rewarding to think how far the health of the Nation has improved since the first Healthy People initiative was launched 20 years ago. But, many challenges remain and they form the foundation of Healthy People 2010. Improving the health of the Nation is a long-term investment requiring the participation of all, including the leaders and members of (EDITOR: INSERT YOUR ORGANIZATION'S NAME HERE IF YOU ARE MEMBER OF THE HEALTHY PEOPLE CONSORTIUM). Together, through the goals of Healthy People 2010, we can forge solutions to the challenges of the new era.

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

Updated: 05/01/08