Every decade, the Healthy People initiative develops a new set of evidence-based objectives with the goal of improving health and well-being nationwide. Healthy People 2030 is the fifth iteration of the initiative and addresses the latest public health priorities.
Developing Healthy People 2030 involved first establishing a framework for the initiative. The framework encompasses the central ideas and function of Healthy People 2030. It includes a vision and mission, foundational principles, overarching goals, and a plan of action.
The Healthy People 2030 framework was based on recommendations made by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (Committee). After getting feedback from individuals and organizations and input from subject matter experts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the framework in June 2018. The framework then helped guide the selection of Healthy People 2030 objectives.
Selecting Healthy People 2030 Objectives
Selecting Healthy People 2030 objectives was a multiyear process with input from a diverse group of subject matter experts, organizations, and members of the public.
First, the Committee recommended criteria for developing and selecting objectives. Then, workgroups made up of subject matter experts from federal agencies selected objectives, and those objectives went through public comment. Finally, HHS reviewed and finalized the list of objectives.
Healthy People 2030 includes 355 core — or measurable — objectives. This is a change from Healthy People 2020, which had more than 1,000 measurable objectives. With fewer objectives, the workgroups were able to avoid overlap and prioritize the most pressing public health issues.
The Secretary’s Advisory Committee
In addition to recommending criteria for selecting objectives, the Committee made many other recommendations about the development of Healthy People 2030. This included recommendations for:
- Leading Health Indicators
- Target-setting methods for objectives
- Stakeholder engagement and communication
Health Literacy in Healthy People 2030
For the first time in the initiative’s history, the Committee specifically considered health literacy in its decisions throughout the development of Healthy People 2030. This emphasis on health literacy is reflected in Healthy People 2030’s foundational principles and overarching goals. In addition, 6 objectives — selected by the Health Communication and Health Information Technology (HC-HIT) Workgroup — are related to health literacy.
Healthy People 2030 addresses both personal health literacy and organizational health literacy with definitions for both. These definitions are different from the health literacy definition used in previous iterations of Healthy People.