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Questions to Ask and Answer:

  • What is our goal?
  • What do we need to do to reach our goal? Who will do it?
  • How will we know when we have reached our goal?

A good plan includes clear objectives and concrete steps to achieve them.
The objectives you set will be specific to your issue or community; they do not have to be exactly the same as the ones in Healthy People 2020.

Consider your intervention points.
Where can you create change?

Think about how you will measure your progress.
How will you know if you are successful?

When setting objectives, remember to state exactly what is to be achieved. What is expected to change, by how much, and by when? Make your objectives challenging, yet realistic.

Remember: Objectives need a target. A target is the desired amount of change (reflected by a number or percentage). A target needs a baseline (where you are now—your first data point).

Making Connections: Achieving Healthy People 2020

Although your objectives are specific to your state or community, it’s important to understand how they support Healthy People 2020. After all, the work you do in your community is part of a larger movement to create a healthier Nation.

Your Objective: Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in Franklin County.

Target: 9.0 new cases were 1,000 population aged 18 to 65.

Baseline: 10.0 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 65.

Healthy People Objective: D1: Reduce the annual number of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the population.

Target: 7.2 new cases per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84.

Baseline: 8.0 new cases of diabetes per 1,000 population aged 18 to 84 occurred in the past 12 months, as reported in 2006-08 (age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population).

Target-setting method: 10% improvement

Data source: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), CDC/NCHS

So you’ve set your objective, identified measures, set your target, and established your baseline. Now, how will you reach your objective? You need some strategies. Start by searching for best practices and other tested interventions. Engage coalition members in a strategy brainstorm.

Field Notes: Rhode Island

To achieve its year 2000 objectives, the Rhode Island Department of Health initiated the Worksite Wellness Council of Rhode Island, which focused on increasing health promotion and disease prevention activities in work sites, where most adults spend the majority of their time. The State Wellness Council entered into an agreement with the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) to make Rhode Island the first Well State in the United States. Through this agreement, Rhode Island aims to have 20% of its workforce in WELCOA-certified Work Well Sites.

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