Washington, D.C. Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General David Satcher addressed the national Healthy People Consortium meeting held at the Capital Hilton Hotel on November 12-13, 1998. The Consortium is an alliance of over 600 state agencies and national organizations working on Healthy People 2010, the nations health goals and priorities for the first decade of the new century. Healthy People is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiative.
Surgeon General Satcher stated at todays noon luncheon, "Building public-private partnerships is the foundation of Healthy People's success. We enter the new millennium as a team working together. Through prevention we can improve the health of all Americans."
Other speakers included Dr. Julius Richmond, the former Surgeon General who started the Healthy People initiative in 1979. Presiding over the public hearing were all the former Assistant Secretaries for Health, including Drs. Edward Brandt and Robert Windom. This initiative has enjoyed the bipartisan support of four administrations.
The Healthy People initiative defines the nation's health agenda and guides policy. The draft version of Healthy People 2010 proposes two overarching goals for the first decade of the 21st century: increase the quality and years of healthy life and eliminate health disparities. It promotes health and prevents disease, and includes over 500 specific objectives with 10-year targets that are monitored over the course of the decade. 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.
Evaluation of the latest available data reveals that three-quarters of the Healthy People objectives for the current decade have been reached or are close to being reached. Healthy People 2010 will use new target setting methods that help move the nation toward greater health equity for all Americans.
Healthy People has been used to harness the best scientific knowledge and to transmit that information into action, from ground-breaking research to far-reaching public awareness campaigns. Healthy People 2000, the second and current national set of objectives, has served as the basis for developing the draft objectives for the coming decade's initiative, Healthy People 2010. Currently, all states and many localities use this framework to guide local health policies and programs.
Surgeon General Satcher has attended Healthy People meetings around the country, where he stated, "I want to be remembered as the Surgeon General who listened to the American people." The final version of Healthy People 2010, to be released in January 2000, will reflect comments received at these meetings. Healthy People 2010 will address the scenarios and trends of the upcoming decadea larger, more diverse population, the aging of the population, and a host of new health risks such as emerging infectious diseases.
Healthy People 2010 addresses the six issues that Surgeon General Satcher has made his priority during his tenure: (1) making sure every child gets a healthy start; (2) promoting personal responsibility for healthy lifestyles and behaviors; (3) eliminating racial disparities in health status and health care access and quality; (4) enhancing mental health prevention, treatment and outcomes; (5) increasing awareness of and attention to global health; and (6) coordinating the national response to emerging infectious diseases.
With Healthy People 2010, the public is encouraged to get involved and to comment on the proposed objectives. There is a month remaining until the public comment period closes on December 15, 1998. All are invited to review the draft objectives and the comments received thus far, and to leave their own comments on the Web site at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.
Those without Internet access can get more information about Healthy People by writing to: Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 738G, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201, or by calling 1-800-367-4725.
# # #
Partnerships for Health in the New Millennium January 24-28, 2000 Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC