National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council annual health status report 2010
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National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council annual health status report 2010

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    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (known together as the Affordable Care Act) mandate the creation of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council (Council) and the development of the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (Strategy) (See Appendix 1). This presents a historic opportunity to bring prevention and wellness to the forefront of the nation’s efforts to improve health. The Strategy’s impact will be significant because it will take a community health approach to prevention and wellness — identifying and prioritizing actions across many sectors to reduce the incidence and burden of the leading causes of death and disability.

    Especially important are requirements that the Strategy establish actions within and across federal departments and agencies relating to prevention, health promotion, and public health. These actions should be grounded in science-based prevention recommendations and guidelines. The Strategy’s value will be determined, in part, by its ability to generate, align, and focus collaboration among governmental and nongovernmental partners in the development and implementation of prevention and wellness initiatives and programs.

    The Strategy will prioritize evidence-based policy and program interventions intended to meet measurable goals related to the leading causes of death and disability and the factors that underlie these causes, including tobacco use, obesity, poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. These priorities will align with specific Healthy People 2020 objectives and the overarching goals of increasing quality of life (including years of healthy life) for Americans; eliminating health disparities; promoting healthy development and healthy behaviors across life stages; and creating social and physical environments that promote good health. Interventions will not be limited to the health and public health sectors, but will also include activities that influence health in such other areas as housing, transportation, in-school and outdoor education, the workplace, and the environment. The Strategy will include actions that help bring greater focus and attention to the role of prevention, health promotion, and wellness through the federal policies and programs that support and promote the well-being of individuals and communities.

    The Strategy is being developed within the context of the Affordable Care Act. Both new and existing prevention, health promotion, and wellness activities will be examined. The Strategy will complement the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care, which is also mandated by the Affordable Care Act and will emphasize the link between prevention, wellness, and quality improvement.

    The Strategy will provide new focus and energy and build on federal initiatives, including but not limited to the following: Healthy People 2020, which establishes national health objectives and serves as the basis for the development of state and community plans; The First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, which raises awareness about the problem of childhood obesity and how the nation can work together to solve it; Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation, which aims to return the nation’s childhood obesity rate to just 5 percent by 2030, the rate before childhood obesity first began to rise in the late 1970s. The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010, which expands and strengthens earlier efforts and outlines opportunities for prevention; Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which includes grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that expand the use of evidence-based prevention strategies and programs, mobilize local resources at the community level, and strengthen public health action by the states; Ending the Tobacco Epidemic: A Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan for the United States, which aims to reduce tobacco use to a level at which it is no longer a public health problem; Toward Zero Deaths: A National Strategy on Highway Safety, which seeks to improve motor vehicle safety and includes the Presidential Executive Order prohibiting federal employees who are on official duty or using government equipment from text messaging while driving; The Safe Routes to School Program, which works to make walking and bicycling to school a safe and appealing form of transportation; President’s Food Safety Working Group, which establishes a new, public health- focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: prioritizing prevention, strengthening surveillance and enforcement, and improving response and recovery.

    This 2010 Annual Status Report outlines the preliminary work carried out from March to June 2010. The report includes an overview of the Strategy development process, proposed guiding principles, plans to convene the Advisory Group, a work plan and timeline, and a list of Council activities to date.

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