Every ten years the Department of Health and Human Services develops a list of priority health indicator topic areas and publishes those as Healthy People goals for the next decade. Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh announced the Healthy People 2020 indicators at the American Public Health Association's annual conference in Washington last week. These indicators include access to health services; clinical preventive services, environmental quality; injury and violence; maternal, infant and child health; mental health; nutrition, physical activity and obesity; oral health (which made this list for the first time); reproductive and sexual health; social determinants (a theme that reportedly received a round of applause and has galvanized decision-makers); substance abuse; and tobacco.
Assistant Secretary Koh said these areas represent a call to action that will reflect the nation’s health objectives for the next decade, and stated “The indicators are intended to help health and public health professionals assess the health of the nation, facilitate collaboration and action, and help motivate entire communities to action.” He also announced that starting in the new year, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will launch a new monthly series highlighting those who are addressing the leading indicators in innovative ways.
"Shoot for the stars," Koh said. "If you only land on the moon, you are still out of this world."
Supporters of the National Nurse Act of 2011
believes these Healthy People 2020 goals will set a compass for many nurses willing to be guided by a National Nurse for Public Health to become influential activists in their communities. For more information on the new leading health indicators, visit www.healthypeople.gov/2020/LHI/default.aspx
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, November 07, 2011