The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a request for public comments on the objectives of its Healthy People 2030 initiative, a population health strategy focused on critical health promotion and disease prevention.
Launched in 1979, the Healthy People initiative has grown significantly over the years, increasing from 226 objectives in 15 topic areas for Healthy People 1990 to more than 1200 objectives in 42 topic areas for Healthy People 2020.
Healthy People 2030 will focus on a streamlined set of objectives that will guide efforts to improve population health nationwide. HHS is seeking input on the initiative’s proposed core, developmental, and research objectives, all of which should align with Healthy People 2030’s overarching goals to promote healthy behaviors and eliminate health disparities.
“Core objectives are the central component of Healthy People 2030,” HHS wrote in its Objective Selection Criteria. “Core objectives are the high priority public health issues that when addressed, will improve our nation’s health.”
In order to be included in Healthy People 2030, core objectives must have a reliable, nationally representative data source with baseline data no older than 2015. Additionally, core objectives should have effective, evidence-based interventions available to achieve the objective, as well as data to help address disparities and attain health equity.
- Core objectives must also be matters of national importance, HHS noted.
“To meet the ‘national importance’ criterion, objectives should have a direct impact or influence on health, broad and comprehensive applicability, a substantial burden, and they should address a national health priority,” the organization stated.
Developmental objectives will represent high-priority issues that do not yet have the reliable baseline data to make them core objectives. Developmental objectives should also have evidence-based interventions available.
Research objectives should allow investigators to explore new, understudied areas of population health, HHS said.
“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,” the organization wrote.
Research objectives may or may not meet core objective data requirements, and do not yet have evidence-based interventions developed. Research objectives will vary in terms of scope and specificity, and may also be considered priority areas for future research and emerging issues.
HHS is seeking comments on individual core objectives and on the set of developmental and research objectives for each topic area.
In addition to public comments, HHS will also accept proposals for additional objectives that address critical public health issues. All proposed objectives must meet each of the objective selection criteria.
The public comment period opened on December 3, 2018, and will end on January 17, 2019. To learn more and share a comment, please click here.