Today’s Healthy People 2030 session offered everything you need to put it into action, from basic nuts and bolts on the initiative to the insider details of how objectives were created.

Healthy People 2030

Healthy People 2030 and its new website launched this summer, offering new measures, slimmed-down and tweaked objectives, and a sharper focus on the social determinants of health and health disparities. Coordinated by the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Healthy People advances health improvements by setting nationwide, 10-year objectives on key health issues, tracking progress and sharing best practices. State and local public health workers use the objectives as a benchmark to assess their community’s health, compare it to others and tailor future goals.

In response to growing research, Healthy People 2030 places more emphasis on well-being, the social determinants and health equity than previous incarnations, said Paul Reed, acting director of ODPHP. The program approaches social determinants through: education access and quality; economic stability; social and community context; neighborhood and built environment; and health care access and quality.

“There is an emphasis on where you live, work and play” and how that affects your health and well-being, Reed said at the APHA Annual Meeting session.

The redesigned Healthy People website includes access to more national health data, and data updates are more timely, thanks to improvements in information technology and a partnership between ODPHP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The new decade-long initiative builds on the success of its predecessor, Healthy People 2020, which showed measurable improvements in reducing tobacco smoking, hypertension and cholesterol, and death rates from heart disease and cancer.

Starting with a current baseline of 20.1% of adults who smoke or ingest some form of tobacco, one of Healthy People 2030’s goals is to reduce that baseline to 16.2%. Decreasing violence is also an important objective, and the target is to lower homicides from 5.9 to 5.5 per 100,000 people, said David Huang, chief of health promotion statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics.

More data is on its way, covering state populations, demographics and health disparities. Healthy People 2030’s Leading Health Indicators, a select set of objectives on high-priority health issues and challenges, will be released soon as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed launch of Healthy People 2030 by months, as staff wanted to review the objectives and examine their relevance to the disease outbreak. They found that the initiative already included a number of objectives that would make Americans more resilient to public health threats involving infectious diseases. But they left open the possibility of adding infectious disease objectives later.

Agencies and organizations use Healthy People in a number of different ways. For example, the District of Columbia Department of Health used it to create the “DC Healthy People 2020 Framework,” which includes health strategies and over 160 measurable health objectives and targets. Another user is the Peace Corps, which created Healthy Volunteer 2020 to improve the health of volunteers and minimize risk of preventable disease and injury. But Healthy People and its easy-to-use website aren’t just for health departments and government agencies.

“Everyone in the country can take advantage of the Healthy People framework,” said session presenter Therese Richmond, associate dean of research and innovation at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing.

To learn more about Healthy People 2030, read our recent coverage in The Nation’s Health. Visit Healthy People 2030 to get involved.