National Digestive Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)

A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

pills gardening gloves doctor drawing blood

Digestive Diseases News Winter 2011

HHS Launches Healthy People 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially launched Healthy People 2020 on December 2, 2010, at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The event marked the formal release of the decade’s national health promotion and disease prevention objectives.

Each decade since 1980, the HHS has released a comprehensive set of national public health objectives. Known as Healthy People, the initiative has been grounded in the notion that setting objectives and providing benchmarks to track and monitor progress can motivate, guide, and focus action.

The HHS convened the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020 to aid in the process of developing the next decade’s guidelines. The Advisory Committee was charged with providing advice and consultation to the Secretary: 1) to facilitate the development and implementation of national health promotion and disease prevention goals and objectives, and 2) to inform the development of initiatives that will occur during initial implementation of the goals and objectives.

Healthy People 2020 should assist federal agencies in setting priorities and in providing funding and support to organizations and institutions that are able to help achieve the objectives. The Advisory Committee stated that Healthy People 2020 “should no longer be known primarily as a print-based reference book to be kept on the shelf for a decade. It should also be a Web-accessible database that is searchable, multilevel, and interactive.”

Healthy People 2020’s overarching goals include eliminating preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death; achieving health equity, eliminating disparities, and improving the health of all groups; creating social and physical environments that promote good health for all; and promoting healthy development and behaviors across every stage of life.

Members of the public health community—especially federal, state, and local health agencies—have traditionally been viewed as the primary audiences for Healthy People. The Advisory Committee proposes that Healthy People 2020 be designed for use by a wider range of groups in both the public and private sectors. Tailored messages and products are needed to make Healthy People useful for this expanded audience-base, which should include the general public, voluntary organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, health care providers, decision-makers, researchers, community-based organizations, grass-roots advocates, and others whose actions have significant health consequences.

The December 2 launch program included remarks by HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, M.D., and members of the Advisory Committee; an introduction and orientation to the Healthy People 2020 website and objectives; and a panel discussion about the uses of Healthy People 2020.

For more information about the Healthy People 2020 initiative, please visit

[Previous Article] [Top] [Next Article]

NIH Publication No. 11–4552
January 2011

Page last updated March 18, 2013

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929

Department of Health and Human Services The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state, and local government web resources and services. This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health ®

Privacy Statement | Disclaimers | Accessibility | PDF versions require the free Acrobat Reader click to view disclaimer page software for viewing.