Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:
- Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors.
- Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions.
- Measure the impact of prevention activities.
Leading Health IndicatorsHealthy People 2020 provides a comprehensive set of 10-year, national goals and objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 contains 42 topic areas with nearly 600 objectives (with others still evolving), which encompass 1,200 measures. A smaller set of Healthy People 2020 objectives, called Leading Health Indicators, has been selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them.
To ensure that Federal, State, Tribal, and local health agencies have the necessary infrastructure to effectively provide essential public health services.
Public health infrastructure is fundamental to the provision and execution of public health services at all levels. A strong infrastructure provides the capacity to prepare for and respond to both acute (emergency) and chronic (ongoing) threats to the Nation’s health. Infrastructure is the foundation for planning, delivering, and evaluating public health.
Why Is Public Health Infrastructure Important?
Public health infrastructure includes 3 key components that enable a public health organization at the Federal, Tribal, State, or local level to deliver public health services. These components are:
- A capable and qualified workforce
- Up-to-date data and information systems
- Public health agencies capable of assessing and responding to public health needs
These components are necessary to fulfill the following 10 Essential Public Health Services:1
- Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
- Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
- Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
- Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
- Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
- Ensure competent public and personal health care workforces.
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
- Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
Phi Beta Iota: Now imagine if every Cabinet department were this intelligent, and if the Office of Management and Budget had a serious management function that could integrate all these holistic analytic endeavors into one Whole of Government “health of the nation” dashboard. This is righteous good stuff.