She said that HHS had been convening workgroups to develop Healthy People 2020 objectives. To start, these workgroups were producing recommendations for which objectives should be dropped, retained or revised. The FIW expected to have completed a draft set of objectives by this summer. At the same time, HHS staff would recommend knowledge-based resources for incorporation into Healthy People 2020. HHS would accept public comments through a variety of means, including the Internet and public meetings. She said that, as a starting point, the FIW would seek comments on Healthy People 2010 objectives until April 24, 2009. A more extensive review of Healthy People 2020 objectives would occur later in 2009. HHS plans to convene three meetings the fall of 2009 to get input on draft objectives.
RADM Slade-Sawyer noted that the FIW is working closely with non-HHS Federal partners to establish a strong understanding of their needs for Healthy People 2020; they were currently focusing on target-setting methodologies, which they would develop into a brief to present to HHS appointees as background for determining the appropriate methods for 2020. The FIW had received requests to establish new topic areas, including: Access to Quality Health Care, Adolescent Health, Global Health, Quality of Life, Social Determinants of Health Equity, Blood Diseases, Genomics, Older Americans, and Preparedness. RADM Slade-Sawyer expressed the gratitude of HHS to the Committee for their hard work and commitment.
Dr. Fielding commented on the changes made to the mission statement in the FIW’s Phase One report. He said the change made by the FIW, while apparently small, is important. He asked why the original phrasing of the statement (“Healthy People will…”) was changed to read, “Healthy People strives to….” RADM Slade-Sawyer emphasized that Healthy People 2020 is a collaborative process, and that there was strong feeling among members of the FIW that this language should be added. Dr. Fielding acknowledged their decision, but said the change was surprising, as all elements of the mission statement that followed were achievable.
III. Presentation: State of the USA (SUSA)
Dr. Fielding introduced Christopher Hoenig, President and CEO of State of the USA, Inc. (SUSA), a new non-profit that seeks to use quality information and advanced technology to educate the American people on the status and progress of the U.S. Mr. Hoenig said he would explain the work of SUSA, and then demonstrate a prototype of its Web site. SUSA has roots in scientific and statistical communities as well as information technology (IT) and those who are building large-scale, consumer-oriented Web sites. SUSA’s view is that in order to make progress on critical issues like improving the nation’s health at lower costs, a shared factual frame of reference is needed. SUSA intends to make available a select set of data on the nation’s major issues in order to foster dialogue. They are not collecting original data or choosing policy goals, and they will leave interpretation of the facts to the media. In the health arena, SUSA will go live in late April or early May 2009 with the dissemination of 20 key national health indicators based on an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.
Mr. Hoenig demonstrated a prototype of the Web site. He described the SUSA’s work as “a window into Healthy People.” They hope to present systematic data (e.g., the 20 health indicators) in a multi-dimensional way (e.g., by geographic region or demographic subgroup) this should permit comparisons by time, by conceptual level, or by geography. For example, they hope to be able to “drill down” to subpopulation-level data to show disparities by ethnic groups, looking at social and physical determinants of health. Mr. Hoenig said that SUSA is focused on making the Web site accessible and usable by the public.
Dr. Fielding remarked that it would be useful to drill down to local data. A Committee member suggested having Mr. Hoenig collaborate with the Subcommittee on Data and Health IT to maximize synergy between Healthy People and SUSA. Mr. Hoenig said SUSA would like to coordinate in any way possible. Dr. Ronald Manderscheid, Chair of the Subcommittee on Data and IT, said his group would be interested in collaborating with SUSA as it develops its approach; the potential to get local level data into people’s hands is important. Another Committee member commented that his organization is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to do this type of work at the county level. He added that the framework developed by the Committee in Phase I might be helpful in connecting the SUSA and Healthy People 2020 approaches.
Addressing communication issues for the SUSA site, a member asked whether the information is being targeted to specific user groups, and what efforts they are making to promote utilization of the site. Mr. Hoenig responded that they have four target audiences: the policy community, “information intermediaries” (people who use the Web to propagate points of view), the “engaged public,” and children in the school system. Promotion will be carried out through work with strategic partners like Google. Dr. Fielding suggested involving Mr. Hoenig in the work of the Subcommittee on Implementation. He noted opportunities to link with Healthy People in terms of presenting a clear picture of how health is produced, including underlying determinants, intermediate outcomes, and disease states. Another option would be to have the SUSA key indicators link across to the Healthy People 2020 Web site.