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II. HHS Update

Ms. Carter Blakey welcomed the audience and thanked them for joining the online meeting. She thanked the Committee for their work in developing recommendations regarding the LHIs. She said this meeting would be the last public meeting, but she was hoping to plan an administrative meeting to allow the Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard Koh, to personally thank the Committee members on behalf of Secretary Sebelius and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She also congratulated the Committee members on their 20th public meeting and for the other Subcommittee meetings.

She noted that Healthy People 2020 is visible in the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) -- the NPS uses many Healthy People 2020 targets as its foundation for measurement overtime. She added that having the work of the Committee was helpful in collaborating with the NPS team as was having Dr. Fielding serve as an NPS committee member. She encouraged the Committee to consider the interdigitation and dovetailing of the Healthy People 2020 LHIs with the National Prevention Strategy as they finalize their LHI recommendations regarding.

Status of HHS Work on Leading Health Indicators: Ms. Blakey provided updates on the status of HHS’ work on the LHIs and Healthy People 2020 implementation activities. In early May, ODPHP and the National Center for Health Statistics briefed Dr. Koh on the approaches that are being considered for choosing the LHIs. Currently, four approaches are being considered:

  • Priority health topics would reflect major health issues of national importance that had been brought to the forefront by different groups, such as the Institute of Medicine.
  • A health determinants and outcomes approach that involves framing the LHI topics and indicators around the leading causes of death and morbidity.
  • Life stages approach which involves framing the topics and indicators around the determinants of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for each life stage.
  • Selecting the LHI topics and indicators based on the Healthy People 2020 framework, which emphasizes the determinants of health and the four overarching goals of Healthy People 2020 (improved health status, health equity, social/physical/environmental factors, and life stages), as well as the Foundation Health Measures. The foundation health measures are incorporated into Healthy People 2020 to provide the context of the health status of the country.

Ms. Blakely explained that after receiving the Committee’s recommendation, the Federal Interagency Workgroup (FIW) will finalize its recommendations for the Healthy People 2020 LHIs.

Current Healthy People 2020 Activities: Ms. Blakey then discussed the current activities to implement Healthy People 2020. HHS is planning a 2012 Healthy People Summit (the Summit), scheduled to take place April 10-11, 2012, in Washington, D.C., at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The Summit will be a venue for states, businesses, and stakeholders who are working to achieve the goals of Healthy People 2020. In addition, ODPHP is working with other HHS agencies to foster collaborations across the various departmental and federal initiatives that aim to address disparities in the U.S. , such as the NPS and the Let’s Move initiative, the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities, the Environmental Justice Strategy, just to name a few. The Summit will be an opportunity for Healthy People 2020 to lead other initiatives and to lead the way in improving the country’s health through prevention. There will be a call for abstracts of presentations and posters in early fall of 2011.

Immediately following the Summit, HHS will also hold its annual State Coordinators Workshop, where Healthy People 2020 State Coordinators will have a chance to meet with HHS officials and staff about the ongoing implementation of Healthy People 2020 at the state level. ODPHP will also capitalize on its online presence by holding its first topic specific Healthy People 2020 online webinar on July 25th, 2011, from 12 noon to 1:30 PM. The topic of the webinar is Healthy People 2020 and Healthcare Associated Infections. Furthermore, the Healthy People 2020 Web site continues to host a steady stream of visitors with 300,000 unique visitors last month. Healthy People 2020 has over 4,000 followers on Twitter and thousands of followers on LinkedIn.

Ms. Blakely informed the Committee that HHS has initiated projects aimed at facilitating and evaluating the use of Healthy People 2020 among states, tribes and territories, and community-based organizations. In June, ODPHP awarded 11 states, nine tribal entities, and two territories to use the Healthy People 2020 framework in developing their health promotion plan to help their own constituents.

On June 27, HHS posted on the Healthy People Web site a request for proposals for community innovation projects. HHS will fund up to 170 awards ranging in cost from $5,000-$10,000 to implement programs that will foster health equity, life improvement across the life stages, and environmental justice. The awards will be made to small community-based organizations with budgets under $750,000 that take a lead role in improving the health outcomes of their communities. The awards will acknowledge those who use the Healthy People 2020 overarching goals, topic areas, and objectives to promote health at the community level.

HHS is also working closely with the National Library of Medicine on the Library Access Project for Healthy People 2020. Through this effort, the library has begun posting structured PubMed evidence queries on all of the Healthy People 2020 objectives and topic areas on their Phpartners Web page, which provides users with access to the most current public health research. Currently, eight of the Healthy People 2020 topic areas are posted on this Web site ( Eventually, all Healthy People 2020 topics areas and objectives will be posted on the Web site with searches accessible from the Healthy People 2020 Web site and the National Library of Medicine’s Web site. Finally, HHS is working with NACCHO to explore how Healthy People 2020 can be tied into their accreditation process.

Ms. Blakey thanked the Committee for pushing HHS to be more Web-based and to work more closely and meaningfully at the local and state levels. She added that ODPHP values the input they receive from the Committee. Dr. Kumanyika thanked Ms. Blakey for the update and commented that the Committee is excited about the implementation activities.