Dr. Fielding said another important message that should be conveyed is that focusing on these health objectives is essential to achieve the goals of health reform. He said that it is important that they focus on aspects of the health reform bill that accomplish the goals of Healthy People 2020. Dr. Fielding also commented that several of the cells in the audience matrix did not have any information; he suggested that the subcommittee provide some examples for those groups, while explaining that they are not comprehensive. Dr. Fielding also suggested that the subcommittee clarify that for academic research and development, it is not only relevant to research, but also the basis for research, and that should be included.
Patrick Remington commented that, in addition to raising awareness, communication efforts should focus on developing skills and providing technical assistance for those who use the objectives in their planning. He said it is important to be clear about how the large number of objectives will help to advance public health so that users do not get overwhelmed by the sheer number of objectives. Communication should be provided in the context of the electronic platform of Healthy People 2020 as opposed to in written documents, so that users are able to search the objectives easily.
Patrick Remington motioned to approve the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Strategic Communications, and Eva Moya seconded the motion. The Committee voted unanimously to approve the recommendations.
Action Steps and Evidence
Dr. Steve Teutsch provided an update on the activities and discussions of the Subcommittee on Action Steps and Evidence. The Subcommittee’s charge is to look at how stakeholders can be engaged and helped to use the exhaustive list of objectives. The group has examined how to identify evidence-based interventions that could be used within each topic area. They discussed how to employ a hierarchy of evidence since the evidence-base varies for different topic areas. Since some evidence from real world practice may not fit into a hierarchy, the group has considered whether it can use specific models to address this issue. The next step would be to solidify the evidentiary hierarchy and to identify the best evidence.
Dr. Kumanyika noted that some of the documents the Committee was working on, such as the report on Evaluating Sources of Knowledge for Evidence-based Actions in Public Health, provide background for this subcommittee and should be incorporated into this subcommittee’s discussions.
IV. Healthy People Users Study
Caitlin Oppenheimer, NORC Principal Research Scientist, presented the results of the Healthy People Users Study. NORC conducted the study on behalf of ODPHP and ASPE to assess how the Healthy People initiatives were being used by state, local, and tribal health organizations. There were five sample groups: Healthy People state coordinators, state chronic disease directors, a sample of local health organizations, a sample of tribal health organizations, and the full census of the 12 multi-tribal area health boards. The study found that there was a statistically significant increase in awareness of Healthy People between 2005 and 2008; however, there was not a statistical increase in those using Healthy People.
The study asked further questions about how respondents used Healthy People, and the common uses varied between different types of users. In addition, the study asked about the barriers to using Healthy People, and what technical assistance was needed to facilitate the use of Healthy People. The 2008 study also gathered data about using Healthy People 2020 and the future of Healthy People in general. There were diverse opinions on how Healthy People should be organized in the future.
V. Discussion of Next Steps
The Committee needed to decide whether to have a Webinar before the next in-person meeting and would work with HHS staff to circulate a scheduling request to determine Committee members’ availability and the best format for the next meeting.