Every 10 years, Healthy People outlines a vision for improving health and preventing unnecessary illness, injury, and death in the US. That means identifying the leading health challenges we face, setting clear goals for improvement, finding the right indicators to track progress, and setting the research agenda.
The Department of Health and Human Services is now seeking feedback on Healthy People 2030 through January 17. This is a key opportunity to shape the topic areas, objectives, metrics, and areas for further research of HHS and other government entities over the next 10 years. Community-based organizations and local health departments have valuable insights into how to take on the health challenges communities face—and that’s why your feedback matters so much.
Here at Prevention Institute, we are focusing our comments on a subset of topic areas: public health infrastructure, the social determinants of health, mental health and mental disorders, injury and violence prevention, environmental health, opioids, substance use, and access to health services. You can find a full list of topic areas and objectives here.
The comment process requires the following:
- Log in to Healthy People or create a new account if you don’t already have one. (Alternatively, you may email comments to HP2030@hhs.gov.)
- Choose a topic area.
- Within that topic area, comment on an objective or propose a new objective.
The following document lists all the current proposed objectives. Below are descriptions of the three different types of objectives.
Core Objectives: These are measurable objectives for which a 2030 target will be set. Core objectives must have (1) an identified and approved data source, (2) baseline data using data no older than 2015 and a measure of variability if applicable (for example, if the data source is a sample survey), and (3) assurance of at least two additional data points throughout the decade. Additionally, (4) evidence-based interventions should be identified for Core objectives.
Developmental Objectives: Developmental objectives represent high priority issues that do not yet have the reliable baseline data needed to make them core objectives. Evidence-based interventions have been identified for developmental objectives.
Research Objectives: Research objectives represent key opportunities to make progress in areas where there has been limited research to date, but where the health or economic burden is high or evidence shows significant disparities between population groups. Research objectives may or may not meet core objective data requirements, and do not yet have evidence-based interventions developed.
Sample comment: proposed new core objectives
Topic area: Environmental Health
Proposed objective: Reduce the number of gas and oil wells located within 1,500 feet of sensitive uses (homes, schools, hospitals)
Data source: National Oil and Gas Assessment – USGS
Proposed objective: Increase the number of census tracts with more than 6 acres of park space per 1,000 residents
Data source: ParkScore – Trust for Public Land
Healthy People 2030 isn’t all-encompassing, and its overall emphasis is on “downstream” approaches like chronic disease management, rather than “upstream” approaches that address community factors like affordable housing, transportation, and access to parks and green spaces. Major health challenges like climate change’s wide-ranging effects on health, the spread of infectious and vector-borne diseases, mental health impacts and trauma, displacement, and mass migration demand more attention, and we’d like to see specific objectives related to mitigation and adaptation strategies in the final Healthy People 2030 framework.
We also plan to encourage Healthy People 2030 to provide greater emphasis when it comes to prioritizing and tracking racial and health equity. That includes proposing new core, developmental, and research objectives focused on equity and expanding the indicators and data sets used, including data collected by other sectors that shed a light on inequities, such as the housing and energy sectors.