HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000 OBJECTIVES TO
SET PRIORITIES AND MEASURE PROGRESS
Creating a healthy community requires an assessment of the community's
health. The results of that assessment are then used to set priorities and determine the
strategic steps needed to accomplish them. To sustain momentum, indicators that measure
progress also need to be identified. Several types of progress indicators exist. Healthy
People 2000 objectives may be used as one such set of indicators.
A. What is Healthy People
Healthy People is a national health improvement strategy used nationally
since the late 1970s; it has been embraced by 47 States and is used by 70 percent of all
local health departments. Healthy People 2000 contains three broad goals and 319 specific
national health promotion and disease prevention objectives to be accomplished by the year
2000. The objectives are grouped into 22 priority or focus areas. (See Resources.)
The objectives of Healthy People 2000 are very specific, calling for quantified
improvements in various aspects of health. No objectives are set merely to "improve,
expand, or reduce." Each objective is framed in terms of moving its subject from
point A to point B in a specific period of time (10 years). Two examples:
Extend adoption of alcohol and drug policies for the work environment to at least 60
percent of worksites with 50 or more employees. (Baseline 88 percent of worksites had
adopted alcohol policies; 89 percent of worksites had adopted drug policies in 1992)
Increase to at least 75 percent the proportion of the Nation's elementary and secondary
schools that provide planned and sequential Kindergarten-12th grade comprehensive school
health education. (Baseline: 11 percent met five essential criteria; 2.3 percent met all
criteria; 31-77 percent of schools met one criterion in 1994.)
B. Setting Priorities and
Priorities, like visions, are unique to the community that creates them.
A priority for one community is not necessarily a priority for another.
The objectives of Healthy People 2000 can provide direction for local programs as they
strive to identify and set priorities. Not all areas mentioned in Healthy People 2000 will
have the same priority level for all communities.
Healthy People should be regarded as a menu. Many communities start by selecting a
single objective to monitor. Other communities begin with multiple measures. Chapter IV provides four types of objectives (community-based,
school-based, worksite health promotion, and health care provider initiatives) from
Healthy People 2000 that communities could use to help identify and monitor progress on
priorities for local health improvement.
One example of how Healthy People objectives have been used locally comes from Chico,
California, a rural northern California city with an urban population of 90,000. For more
information about Healthy Chico Kids 2000, contact The Pacific Wellness Institute,
California State University, Chico, CA 95929-0470, (919) 898-4791.
|Factors for Healthier Youth
"Protective factors" that may help young
people be more resilient and make healthier lifestyle choices include:
- Perception that they are treated fairly, regardless of gender,
religion, ethnic/racial group, or lifestyle.
- Reduced access to and discouraged use of cigarettes, alcohol and
- Involvement in sports teams or clubs and other school activities.
- Clearly defined and enforced family rules.
- Personal safety at school.
- Parents available to discuss personal problems.
- Two-parent families.
- Friends with healthier lifestyles.
- Self-esteem and emotional well-being promoted within the family,
school, and community.
- Aerobic exercise outside of school.
|Healthy Chico Kids 2000
Healthy Chico Kids 2000 is a collaborative, community-wide
campaign to promote the highest possible level of health and well-being of Chico children
and youth. This innovative initiative is guided by a volunteer board representing broad
sectors of the greater Chico community. Population sectors represented on the board
include youth and parents from a range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds; local
experts in public education, health care, public health, and alternative health care; and
representatives from local businesses, churches, local government, and human service
Healthy Chico Kids 2000 has been designated a California Healthy City. Funding has
been provided by a variety of local sources such as service clubs, hospitals, and
physicians, as well as from outside sources such as the California Healthy Cities Project,
the California Wellness Foundation, and Health Net, a California Health Maintenance
One accomplishment of Healthy Chico Kids 2000 was to develop over 270 measurable
year 2000 wellness objectives for Chico children and youth, their families, and the
community. The objectives span 10 categories of wellness: Nutrition, Physical Fitness,
Emotional Well-Being, Social Well-Being, Living Safely, Living Lightly on The Earth,
Dental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Responsible Sexual Behavior, and Preventive