For the past thirty years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued 10-year national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease. Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) employs insights from research, innovations in health care, and lessons learned from public health experience to set goals for improving the nation's health over the next decade. The "Healthy People" process is built on objectives and benchmarks to monitor progress over time. The planning process for Healthy People 2020 is well under way, and comments are now being accepted online on the draft goals and objectives. Comments may be submitted, and previous comments reviewed, from this page: http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/comments/ <https://mail.apa.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/comments/> Comments will be accepted online through December 31, 2009.
The behavioral and social sciences have a lot to contribute to this process. Indeed many psychologists have been involved in the development of the draft plan. As in past iterations of the "Healthy People" planning process, the American Psychological Association encourages its expert members to weigh in on these issues, and develops its own set of comments as well. Any comments, compliments, or criticism you have can inform the APA comments, if you will take the time to share your thoughts with us.
The HP 2020 Framework is organized around a central vision: "A society in which all people live long, healthy lives." The mission presented in the Framework emphasizes the need for a strong foundation of scientific data and evidence to inform policies and practices to improve health, the importance of increasing public awareness of the social determinants of health and disease, as well as the need to engage multiple sectors of society to take actions to strengthen policies and practices that impact health.
The draft is organized around four overarching goals:
* To attain high quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death;
* To achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups;
* To create social and physical environments that promote good health for all;
* To promote quality of life, healthy development and healthy behaviors across all life stages.
We at APA urge you to go to the website and look over the draft. It is an important document, and will be influential in shaping public health policy and practice over the next ten years. There are many objectives, some retained from HP 2010, and others newly proposed. From the topic areas page (http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/Objectives/TopicAreas.aspx <https://mail.apa.org/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/Objectives/TopicAreas.aspx> ) you can examine goals in any area (e.g. adolescent health, diabetes, health communication, HIV).
Comment individually if you wish - then share your impressions and concerns with APA. Contact Pat Kobor, Science Government Relations Office, at email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> , (202/336-5933) no later than Friday, December 18, 2009 at 5 pm.
Patricia Clem Kobor
Sr. Science Policy Analyst
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
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