ODPHP Director

ODPHP guides the nation toward better health through disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Health and Well-Being Matter is a blog series from the ODPHP Director that features information about timely national public health priorities, observances, events, and initiatives. Read the Director's thoughts on efforts to improve health and well-being for all people.

Firearm Safety and Public Health

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Firearm-related injuries and deaths in the United States are a public health crisis. HHS remains committed to reducing the number of firearm-related injuries and deaths. As with other public health challenges, that means openly acknowledging the scope of the problem, updating the public on what we’re doing to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths, and providing the most up-to-date available guidance to help the broader public navigate the crisis.   

A Concerted Focus on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Will Help Ensure Well-Being

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The recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health renewed national attention and inspired action to end hunger and reduce the prevalence of chronic disease in the United States by 2030. Realizing these goals requires a far-reaching, cross-sector mobilization of efforts: what the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health refers to as “a whole-of-government and whole-of-America approach” to these challenges. That charge acknowledges that the way forward is found across all sectors of society and through organizations collectively working to foster equity and eliminate disparities — especially in the areas of hunger, nutrition, physical activity, and chronic disease.

Organizations Have an Opportunity to Enhance Health Literacy

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There’s widespread agreement that health care is not the principal driver of health. Rather, the conditions in the places where people live, work, and play — what many refer to as social determinants of health — have the greatest influence on our health. Organizational health literacy — the degree to which organizations equitably enable individuals to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others — is one of those key social determinants.

Let’s Talk About Talking About Healthy Aging

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Contemporary approaches to healthy living, with an increasing attentiveness to social determinants of health and the Vital Conditions for Health and Well-Being, hold potential — even real promise — to provide us with longer and greater-quality lives, especially through our later years. Focusing and sustaining meaningful action in support of that potential — that promise — requires a broader perspective on healthy aging and an open and inclusive conversation on the subject.