Each year core, developmental, and/or research objectives may be proposed for inclusion in Healthy People 2030. This helps ensure that the initiative remains relevant and reflects current public health priorities throughout the decade. Most recently, ODPHP has recategorized an important research objective to core status: Increase the proportion of the voting-age citizens who vote — SDOH‑07.
Voting offers a chance for people to contribute to decisions that can affect their communities and directly or indirectly impact their health and well-being. Voting can also help people develop a sense of purpose and help people feel connected to their community.
“We’ve learned that belonging and civic muscle can significantly impact an individual’s and a community’s resilience and capacity to thrive,” says RDML Paul Reed, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and the Director at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Voting is one way for individuals to flex this civic muscle and help their communities determine a shared direction and shape a common vision.”
However, the US voter participation rate hovers at just over half of the voting age population with the most recent data showing that only 53.4 percent of US citizens 18 years and older reported voting in federal, state, and/or local November 2018 elections. The Healthy People initiative has set a target of 58.4 percent participation by 2030. Fortunately, strategies to increase voter participation can help more people benefit from civic participation and further strengthen communities.
“Social determinants have a major effect on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life,” says RDML Reed. “Encouraging people to be part of the decision-making process – at all levels – is a direct and positive way to contribute to civic action on issues and policies that affect them the most.”
Previously, Increase the proportion of the voting-age citizens who vote — SDOH‑07 was categorized as research objective SDOH-R02. Recently established baseline data and evidence-based interventions became available to support a recommendation for the research objective to be recategorized to core objective status. Like all Healthy People 2030 objectives, SDOH-07 and SDOH-R02 were developed by Healthy People 2030 subject matter experts, meet specific criteria, and reflect public input.
To learn more about the criteria for core, developmental and research objectives, how objectives may evolve over the decade, and to explore all the Healthy People 2030 objectives, please visit the Healthy People 2030 site. For the latest Healthy People 2030 news sign up for email alerts from the Healthy People 2030 listserv.
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