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II. HHS Update

RADM Penelope Slade-Sawyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, provided an update on the current HHS timeline for finalizing and preparing to launch the Healthy People 2020 objectives, leading health indicators, and implementation guidance. She explained that the final set of Healthy People 2020 objectives would be submitted for HHS clearance by the end of the week. The Department would review and comment on the objectives, baselines, target-setting methodologies, and targets within the 39 topic areas with objectives. Once the clearance process is completed, comments would be reviewed, and the final objectives would be submitted to the Secretary for approval. RADM Slade-Sawyer went on to explain that HHS has entered into a contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to identify a set of leading health indicators for the nation. In coming months, the IOM would develop its recommendations and submit a report of its findings to HHS in late February, 2011. Plans for the December launch of Healthy People 2020, as well as a public call to action for stakeholders to implement Healthy People objectives, are underway and on schedule. RADM Slade-Sawyer expressed hope that the Committee members, who have given so much to the Healthy People process, would be present with HHS at the launch.

RADM Slade-Sawyer noted that HHS has undertaken various activities and platforms that will be used for implementation of Healthy People 2020. These include the Community Health Data Initiative, an annual meeting for Healthy People State and Territorial Coordinators, two new Healthy People State and Community Evaluation Projects, and the National Healthy People Prevention Summit.

  • The Community Health Data Initiative would serve as a data warehouse for HHS health indicators.
  • The Fifth Annual Meeting of Healthy People State and Territorial Coordinators (September 27th and 28th, Washington, D.C.) would serve as the “pre-kickoff” for Healthy People 2020. The goals of this meeting would be to explain the differences between Healthy People 2020 and Healthy People 2010; promote awareness among health officials of how Healthy People is being utilized; and receive feedback about tools and strategies that would encourage use of Healthy People 2020 in the future.
  • HHS plans to conduct two new Healthy People 2020 State and Community Evaluation Projects. The first project would provide an opportunity for states to develop Healthy People 2020 implementation plans that respond to the new set of objectives. The initial phase of this evaluation has focused on the Healthy People 2020 framework. Fourteen states were funded; their work will be presented at the State Coordinators' workshop. In the project’s next phase, HHS will award additional states with funds to help translate the Healthy People 2020 objectives into action.
  • The second evaluation project would be modeled after the Take Action Healthy People, Places, and Practices in Communities Project, which administered 112 awards of two to five thousand dollars across the country. RADM Slade-Sawyer said that the recipients of this next round of community awards would be community-based organizations. An announcement and description of application procedures would be made available in the spring of 2011 on the Healthy People Web site, through the Healthy People Consortium, and via the Healthy People Listserv.
  • HHS is planning a National Healthy People Prevention Summit for the spring of 2012. The goal of the meeting will be to bring together stakeholders (e.g., CBOs, state and local government agencies) to share information on how they have been using Healthy People and share HHS recommendations for implementation.

Dr. Fielding emphasized the importance of focusing on implementation and expressed support for the effort that HHS is putting towards implementation. RADM Slade-Sawyer responded that implementation was one of the challenges in the past, which is why they have focused significant effort on the implementation activities for this decade. She added that ODPHP values the input they receive from the public and stakeholders on Healthy People related activities.

III. HHS Community Health Data Initiative

Dr. Fielding welcomed Todd Park, HHS Chief Technology Officer, and Linda Bilheimer, Associate Director of National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Dr. Fielding explained that Mr. Park would be discussing the HHS Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) and the role it will play in the launch and implementation of Healthy People 2020.

Mr. Park explained that the CHDI is a flagship project under President Obama’s Open Government Initiative, which has directed all Federal agencies to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration with regard to government decision-making. The CHDI is meant to increase awareness about health performance in communities throughout the U.S. and spark action to improve that performance. HHS plans to accomplish this by creating an “ecosystem of community health data” in which free, easily-accessible, high-quality, health metadata is provided by HHS, and then used by technology innovators (e.g., application developers for Google and the iPhone), researchers, non-profits, and government agencies to create easily accessible resources to improve the health of the U.S. population.