Healthy People 2020

  1. What is Healthy People 2020 and how was it developed?

Healthy People 2020 is evidence-based objectives for the United States to improve people’s health. It contains 10-year national objectives that should be achieved to enhance the wellbeing of Americans. Healthy People has for three decades developed benchmarks, evaluated and monitored progress to encourage partnerships with sectors and communities to achieve health objectives; empower the people to make informed decisions regarding their health; and measure the effect of preventive health. The program developed out of the realization of the failure of Americans to achieve their health potential due to preventable chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancers, and diabetes. Therefore, it was critical to creating a plan and roadmap that would provide the country with the vision for health improvement, as well as the quality and quantity of life (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). The project is ambitious, but achievable through concerted efforts of various stakeholders with the healthcare system.

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Healthy People 2020 was launched on December 2, 2010, with objectives that would be achieved over the decade. The program culminated in the three-decade attempt to improve the quality of life by generating the framework for public health, preventing actions and priorities. It is a ten-year agenda that would improve the nation’s health by ensuring the effective prevention of preventable illnesses and diseases. The program emanated from a multi-year process reflecting inputs from a group of people and agencies interested in the overall health of Americans. Through collaborative efforts, the program would identify health improvement needs, increase public awareness about health, create functional policies for health improvement, and collect data to inform health improvement (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). The initiative was founded on the importance of creating national objectives/goals, evaluating progress, and rewarding achievement to motivate action to improve the health of target populations.

  1. List the four overarching goals?

Healthy People 2020 is founded on the following overarching goals:

  1. “Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  2. “Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  3. “Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  4. “Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  1. In your own words, briefly explain what each goal means

The first goal is “to attain high-quality, and longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). The goal informs the Healthy People 2020 initiative to help Americans improve disease prevention efforts and to enhance their overall health. Proper health from the perspective of the initiative can be achieved when people are better equipped to avoid preventable conditions, disability, and injury, as well as to prevent premature death caused by such conditions.

The second goal of Healthy People 2020 is to “achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). The goal is aimed at health disparity and inequalities in the country, which are the main reasons for poor health outcomes. The goal focuses on the need to create equitable access to Americans of all races, genders, ages, religions, cultures, and levels of education, among other aspects. Consequently, the initiative will improve the overall health of all Americans.

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The third goal is to “create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). The goal is to initiate the necessary infrastructure and improve the health care system to achieve the Healthy People objectives (CDC, 2010). It also involves providing the required resources and equipment to improve the overall health of Americans. Creating a positive social and physical environment is a necessary and important step towards realizing the objectives of the program.

The fourth goal is to “promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). The goal is to ensure that all Americans understand and observe the quality of life requirements across the lifespan, including childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. They should avoid behaviors that place their health at risk, such as smoking, and adopt those which improve the quality of life, such as eating fruits and vegetables.

  1. Discuss the 4 foundation health measures: General Health Status, Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being, Determinants of Health and Disparities using the following guide
  2. Briefly describe all the measures of progress listed under each foundation health measure.

Under the Healthy People 2020 initiative, there are four foundation health measures, including General Health Status, Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being, Determinants of Health and Disparities. Under the General Health Status, various measures of progress include “life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, years of potential life lost, physically and mentally unhealthy days, self-assessed health status, limitation of activity, and chronic disease prevalence” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). Life expectancy is the average time one is expected to live and healthy life expectancy is the average time one is expected to live in good health. Years of potential life lost indicate the number of years one would have lived were it not for premature death. Physically and mentally unhealthy days is the average time a person is expected to live in good physical and mental health. Self-assessed health status is the personal assessment of a person’s health. Limitation of activity is the loss of productivity due to disease while chronic disease prevalence is the rate of occurrence of chronic diseases in a population.

Under the Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being, the various measures of progress include “physical, mental, and social health-related quality of life, well-being/satisfaction, and participation in common activities” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). Quality of life is the standard of health, comfort, and happiness in terms of physical, mental, and social health. Well-being/satisfaction is the general feeling of satisfaction relating to one’s health. Participation in common activities is the ability of an individual to engage in normal life activities.

Under the Determinants of Health, various factors influence the health status of a person, such as personal, social, economic, and environmental forces. The health determinants include genetics, individual behavior, biology, the environment, and access to health care. These factors have different effects on health, both positive and negative.

Under disparities, the measures of progress include race/ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, and geography. The factors are historically used to create health inequality in the country. Race/ethnicity and gender are differences that people assign to individuals and use them to discriminate others (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). People can face disparity based on their physical or mental health, and geography, such as those living in rural or remote areas.

  1. For each foundation measure category, select any one measure of progress and briefly discuss what it means and how it can be used to evaluate the foundation health measure category

Healthy life expectancy is one of the important measures of progress under the General Health Status. The aspect is a type of health expectancy that measures the number of years a healthy person is expected to live. Poor health causes the loss of healthy life of an individual. However, an improvement in health status could increase a healthy life expectancy (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). Therefore, depending on whether the measure is positive or negative, it will show a significant impact on the general health status.

Physical, mental, and social health-related quality of life is an important measure of progress under the Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being. The measure relates to the overall wellbeing of individuals and societies in terms of their physical, mental, and social health (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). Various features of life determine the quality of life, such as education, family, wealth, and safety, among others. To improve the quality of life, these aspects of health and wellbeing should be improved.

Marginalization through geographical inequality is a major negative factor in creating health disparities. A huge number of people in the country reside in remote or rural areas and lack access to proper health care. Therefore, to address health disparities, public health policymakers should increase access to the marginalized communities (Sondik, Huang, Klein, & Satcher, 2010). For example, they can build clinics and health centers in the remote parts of the country to bring health care close to the people.

  1. Identify one health problem that you have observed in your local community briefly describe it. How big of a problem is it and who does it affect most and why?

One of the most common health care problems in my community is the prevalence of smoking among young adults. I have realized that most of the young people are smokers because I encounter them throughout my neighborhood. I have taken time to understand the prevalence of smoking. I have discovered that young people are experiencing with smoking, including a considerably high number of teenagers. The problem is worse in households where parents smoke. Smoking is highly addictive. Hence, with time, those who engage in the behavior become addicted and face challenges while trying to stop the negative behavior. Therefore, it is not surprising that a huge percentage of people in the community smoke.

The problem is prevalent in the community because of the large number of people who smoke and the negative health effects on primary and secondary smokers. Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the community. Unfortunately, both the smoker and those living or working near a smoking zone are affected. Our community has experienced several lung cancer-related deaths. Besides, smoking is a major cause of chest-related complications, such as asthma and other breathing complications in children. Children growing up in families with smokers are at a high risk of adverse health outcomes. Notably, smoking is a serious health issue in my community that requires fast and effective intervention.

  1. Go to the Home page again and click on Topics and Objectives. Then click on Public Health Infrastructure.
  1. Briefly describe the mission and importance of Public Health Infrastructure

Public health infrastructure is aimed at ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is available at the federal, state, territorial, and local levels for healthcare organizations to offer the necessary health care to individuals and communities. Health care providers can only provide essential services with the necessary resources and equipment to meet the diverse needs of the clients (CDC, 2010). The infrastructure is critical because it offers communities, states, and the country the ability to implement health care interventions for disease prevention, health promotion, and preparation for and response to acute dangers and chronic problems in health care. The infrastructure creates the necessary basis for the planning, delivery, evaluation, and improvement of health in the country. It also forms the basis for the general health and wellbeing of the people.

The public health infrastructure is important to individuals and the community. The significance of the infrastructure is informed by the fact that it is the foundation for effective care and all public health services. It allows public health providers to offer the necessary services to individuals and communities. All public health programs, including infectious disease monitoring, immunizations, drinking water quality, cancer and asthma prevention, injury prevention, depend on an effective infrastructure. The programs and services require competent health professionals in technical expertise, ICTs, and public health agencies able to perform assessment and response to the health needs of individuals and communities. The infrastructure is basically “the nerve center of the public health system” (Healthy People 2020, 2014). Its strength relies on several agencies (health organizations and departments) that provide primary care. Adequate public health infrastructure is the basis for Federal agencies to serve the people at all levels in the country. It helps in the implementation of programs and policies in public health.

  1. List the three key elements and give an example of each

The description of the public health infrastructure is based on what it demonstrates as well as its role in public health. The definition includes three key elements:

  1. “Capable and qualified workforce” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  2. “Up-to-date data and information systems” (Healthy People 2020, 2014).
  3. “Agencies capable of assessing and responding to public health needs” (Healthy People 2020).

“A capable and qualified workforce” is critical because of the role of the human resource in public health to provide effective services to individuals and communities (Healthy People 2020, 2014). For example, adequate nursing staff is necessary to implement immunization programs targeted to babies under five years.

“Up-to-date data and information systems” (Healthy People 2020, 2014) are necessary to ensure effective working of public health agencies. The personnel are involved in the collection, analysis, storage, and retrieval, which are necessary aspects to support public health. Therefore, public health infrastructure includes effective information systems to achieve the objective. For example, there should be working systems for the collection of infectious disease monitoring to determine possible outbreaks and implement effective preventive and treatment interventions.

“Agencies capable of assessing and responding to public health needs” (Healthy People 2020, 2014) are necessary to ensure successful public health services. Adequate agencies are necessary at the local, state, and national levels to implement public health interventions and programs. For example, the government should develop health care clinics in remote areas to enhance health promotion and disease prevention through immunizations.

  1. Using the 10 essential public health services, describe how as a nurse you can use each of the ten essential public health services to manage the health problem you have identified in your local community

The 10 Essential Public Health Services are important actions of public health service providers to improve the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of individuals and communities. The first service is monitoring health status to identify and solve the community health problem (CDC, 2014). Considering the issue with smoking, the nurse should conduct a monitoring role to establish the extent of the problem and use the information to support intervention.

The second service is diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards within the community. The health problem entails smoking and its harmful effects on the health of individuals and the whole community. The role of the nurse is to diagnose health problems such as lung cancer and other complications caused by smoking.

The third service is informing, educating, and empowering people about health issues. The service is important to create awareness about the negative effects of smoking and the need to quit the habit. The fourth service is mobilizing community partnerships and action toward identifying and solving health problems (CDC, 2014). Since the problem affects the whole community, the nurse should engage community stakeholders, such as other health care workers, community leaders, religious leaders, and educators, to identify and implement a solution to the problem.

The fifth service is developing policies and plans “that support individual and community health efforts” (CDC, 2014). The nurse will play an advocacy role in informing policy-making to control smoking in the community. Sixth, the nurse will also support the enforcement of laws and regulations aimed at protecting health and ensuring safety, such as stopping underage smoking. The seventh service is to connect members of the community to personal health services to enhance the provision of necessary care to the affected. The nurse should guarantee that members of the community suffering from the adverse health effects of smoking have adequate access to effective health care. Eighth, the nurse should be part of competent public and personal health care workforce to help the community achieve positive health outcomes.

The ninth service includes evaluating the effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of healthcare. For example, the nurse should collect data about the effect of interventions to stop smoking to measure their effectiveness (CDC, 2014). In the final service, the nurse should research novel information and innovative solutions to the problem of smoking in the community to implement evidence-based solutions.

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