Healthy People Initiative

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Healthy People initiative provides science-based national goals and objectives with ten-year targets. The initiative is designed to guide national health promotion efforts with the goal of improving the health of all people in the United States.

Healthy People 2020 (HP 2020) has four overarching goals:

  1. Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death
  2. Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups
  3. Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all
  4. Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages

HP 2030 has been released. It is the fifth iteration of the Healthy People initiative and builds on knowledge gained over the past four decades. You can learn more by visiting the Additional Resources (last page of this training).

Leading Health Indicators

To reach these goals nationally, every ten years the CDC identifies leading health indicators (LHI) to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. The LHI serve as measure of the nation's health.

HP 2020 Topics  

The HP 2020 LHI can be categorized into 12 topics:

  1. Access to Health Services
  2. Clinical Preventive Services
  3. Environmental Quality
  4. Injury and Violence
  5. Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
  6. Mental Health
  7. Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
  8. Oral Health
  9. Reproductive and Sexual Health
  10. Social Determinants
  11. Substance Abuse
  12. Tobacco



It is important to note that the goals of the Healthy People initiative can't be reached without multi-sector collaboration and community partnerships.


How do you define your community? Who are your community partners?

Map of Massachusetts
Image courtesy of MDPH

Be sure to think about your community in a broad sense.

Community can be defined by geography, institution type, population characteristics (i.e., race, sexual orientation, religion, culture), or other factors that members have in common.

Community partners might include other government departments or agencies, non-profit or faith-based groups, businesses, health care organizations, and academic institutions.



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