HHS launches Healthy People 2030 to address ‘critical health priorities, challenges’
HHS recently announced its Healthy People 2030 initiative to address what the agency called the “most critical public health priorities and challenges” in the United States over the next decade.
Updated decennially since 1980, the plan has targets for opioid use, e-cigarette use among youth and, for the first time, social determinants of health, according to a press release. Other targets that have been carried over from 2020 include increasing cervical cancer screening rates, reducing suicide attempts among teenagers and increasing the proportion of Americans who find their online medical record easy to understand.
Specifically, some of the 2030 objectives include reductions in:
- UTI-related hospital admissions from 551.3 to 496.2 per 100,000 older adults.
- coronary heart disease fatalities from 90.9 to 71.1 per 100,000 people;
- breast cancer deaths from 19.7 to 15.3 per 100,000 women;
- the proportion of children and adolescents with obesity from 17.8% to 15.5%;
- HPV-related infections from 15.1% to 8.7% in young adults;
- opioid overdose fatalities from 14.6 to 13.1 per 100,000 people;
- colorectal cancer deaths from 13.4 to 8.9 per 100,000 people; and
- the number of new diabetes cases diagnosed yearly from 6.5 to 5.6 per 1,000 adults.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, said in a webinar that collaborations between physicians, public health departments, community development financial institutions and other organizations are a critical part of reaching Healthy People 2030 targets.
“This will help us integrate diverse perspectives and the policy formation, public health decision-making and community development,” Adams said.
Gary LeRoy, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, also encouraged collaborations to reach Healthy People 2030 objectives.
“Clinicians can work with their organizations and state health departments to identify best ways to collectively work together to attain the goals,” he told Healio Primary Care.
Treat patients with targets in mind
Other physicians, like Susan M. Friedman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, suggested that doctors keep their objectives front and center.
“Place your targets at your desk,” Friedman, who also helped develop the American Geriatrics Society’s position statement on healthy aging, told Healio Primary Care. “Keep them in the back of your mind as you’re reviewing patient histories or having conversations about care decisions. Use this understanding to motivate patients to reduce their risk for chronic disease.”
Ron Blankstein, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Imaging Training Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and member of the American College of Cardiology’s prevention of cardiovascular disease section, said health systems must strengthen programs aimed at preventing disease.
“We often treat disease once it has occurred and has caused disability,” he said. “All of us need to find ways to prevent disease before it starts.”
Adam Thompson-Harvey, MD, an otolaryngology head and neck surgery resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said that in order to reach head and neck cancer goals, “there must be sustained public awareness and education regarding prevention and early detection.”
Additionally, to achieve better hearing health for older adults — another 2030 target — ,he said physicians need to “recognize the bi-directional association between hearing loss and cognition, social functioning, physical functioning and quality of life.”
Paul Reed, MD, deputy assistant secretary in HHS’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, encouraged people to visit www.healthypeople.gov frequently for updates.
“You can use our data to help inform decision-making and see how you compare to the rest of the nation,” he said during the webinar.