In recent years, the United States government has established a number of key initiatives to support optimal population health and wellbeing. These contributions have led to many strategic developments in health promotion and disease prevention in a variety of areas. One important alternative that has emerged is Healthy People 2020, which summarizes a series of important objectives to improve awareness within the general population in regards to health promotion and disease prevention activities. Healthy People 2020 provides an opportunity to promote improvements in health and wellbeing that are based upon a number of critical focus areas, including global health, diabetes, and tobacco use, amongst others (Healthypeople.gov, 2013). This information is utilized in a simple yet concise manner so that individuals from all age groups can access the information without difficulty. In conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, Healthy People 2020 is a valuable resource that encourages the general public to gain greater knowledge of areas to develop improvements in health promotion and disease prevention throughout the United States.
Prevention is a critical component of Healthy People 2020 and supports the creation of several large-scale initiatives sponsored by US government agencies to support this endeavor. For example, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, vaccinations, tobacco, drugs, global health, and quality are some of the key measures that have been established to support prevention efforts throughout the general population (Healthy People 2020).However, there is a greater emphasis on some areas than others; for example, the older population requires a specific set of guidelines regarding their care and treatment that address spiritual needs and cultural identifiers in order to ensure that patient care for this group is optimized (MacKinlay, 2008). These efforts are important because they provide a greater contribution to older adults as their care needs change over time (MacKinlay, 2008). In addition, specific population groups, such as members of the military, possess specific concerns that may require unique nursing care and treatment, as well as psychological support (Ray and Heaslip, 2011).
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a number of different statistical resources in order to capture relevant data in the appropriate manner for further analysis. For example, Data.CDC.gov (2013) offers a number of different datasets that are utilized to support research in a variety of areas, such as tobacco use, influenza, and birth and death rates. These graphs, charts, and maps provide real data regarding specific indicators and the prevalence of these indicators on specific population groups (Data.CDC.gov, 2013). It is important to utilize these and other datasets to facilitate positive outcomes for patients across different population groups (Data.CDC.gov, 2013). The utilization of this data and information serves in the capacity to develop new initiatives that are likely to impact health and wellbeing (Data.CDC.gov, 2011). The CDC provides much-needed data and information that may lead to informed decision-making regarding how to promote optimal health promotion and disease prevention throughout the US population (Data.CDC.gov, 2011).
In the areas of health promotion and disease prevention, it is important to recognize the importance of Healthy People 2020 and its impact on the general population. These efforts play a role in how healthcare objectives are established and target goals are set by healthcare organizations throughout the United States (Policy and Medicine, 2010). National objectives establish a precedent for state and local initiatives that are designed to facilitate favorable outcomes in these populations, such as a reduction of obesity rates and reduced diabetes cases (Policy and Medicine, 2010). These contributions are likely to have a positive influence on population groups, particularly when they are provided with education and further guidance regarding the risk of disease and the ability to reduce these risks (Policy and Medicine, 2010). With these perspectives in mind, organizations must work cooperatively to ensure that their needs are met in the appropriate manner (Policy and Medicine, 2010). In addition, the utilization of data provided by the CDC and other resources is a significant indicator of the scope of these problems and their impact on health promotion and disease prevention (Policy and Medicine, 2010). Epidemiological resources are also instrumental in identifying areas of need where there are gaps in research and information that may lead to greater outcomes (Policy and Medicine, 2010). For example, patients with a high risk of diabetes should be evaluated based upon these risks, the causes of behaviors that may contribute to these risks, and the modification of behaviors accordingly. Therefore, statistical data is useful in a number of different ways and supports the development of new perspectives to promote positive health outcomes for patients from many population groups.
Healthy People 2020 provides a number of valuable resources to support disease prevention and health promotion activities throughout the United States. In conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, this initiative supports the ongoing development of new programs and educational efforts to improve outcomes for the US population through a variety of strategies to improve health and to reduce the prevalence of disease. Many areas of focus are of primary concern within the US population and must be addressed in a greater capacity through the Healthy People 2020 objectives and the CDC’s contributions to this area. These resources provide nurses and other healthcare providers with valuable information and guidance in supporting healthier lifestyles and improved behaviors to promote greater health and wellbeing over the long term.
Data.CDC.gov. (2013).Welcome to Data.CDC.gov! Retrieved from https://data.cdc.gov/ Healthypeople.gov. (2013). Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/default.aspx
Mackinlay, E. (2008). Practice development in aged care nursing of older people: the perspective of ageing and spiritual care. International Journal of Older People Nursing, 3(2), 151-158.
Policy and Medicine (2010). HHS launches Healthy People 2020 – health goals for the next decade. Retrieved from http://www.policymed.com/2010/12/hhs-launches-healthy-people-2020-health-goals-for-the-next-decade.html