National Prevention Strategy
Three years later, the National Prevention Strategy is helping Americans become healthier. Learn how in the National Prevention Council's 2014 Annual Status Report.
It has been 3 years since the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (the National Prevention Council) released the first-ever National Prevention Strategy to refocus our Nation on prevention and wellness. The National Prevention Council, chaired by the Surgeon General (Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, pictured at right), includes cabinet heads and leaders from 20 diverse Federal departments—from Agriculture, Housing, and Transportation to Defense and Veterans Affairs—who are working within their organizations and across the government to advance the National Prevention Strategy and improve the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.
However, the Federal government alone cannot create healthier communities. Therefore, the National Prevention Council is working with its partners in prevention—organizations ranging from health systems to workforce agencies to national foundations and local nonprofits—to have a collective impact and achieve the National Prevention Strategy's overarching goal of increasing the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.
The 2014 Annual Status Report features achievements of the National Prevention Council departments and partners in prevention that are taking action to support prevention and wellness and advance the National Prevention Strategy. Below are examples from the report that illustrate how these organizations are making the healthy choice the easy choice and helping to improve the health of their employees, other individuals, families, and communities. To learn more, visit CDC's Office of the National Prevention Strategy web page and theOffice of the Surgeon General's website.
National Prevention Council Department Achievements
- The General Services Administration (GSA) has helped ensure healthier food options are in Federal buildings across the country by developing standardized Health and Sustainability Guidelines in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Eighty-six percent of cafeterias in GSA-managed buildings now provide healthy food choices.
- The Department of Defense's Healthy Base Initiative (HBI) aims to identify best-practice efforts in reducing obesity and tobacco use, while improving fitness. In a recent survey at one HBI site, 93 percent of employees said the initiative is helping change their behaviors, including eating habits and physical activity.
- In 2013, the National Park Service (within the Department of the Interior) launched the Healthy Parks Healthy People program, which partners across government agencies and private companies to purposefully provide healthy opportunities. Park use accounts for 50 percent of the vigorous physical activity time for people living within 0.5 miles of a park.
- The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Healthy Heart program (which complements HHS' Million Hearts initiative) educates people—in particular, individuals with heart disease—about the health risks of air pollution and how to reduce exposure through the EPA-supported Air Quality Index (AQI).
- HHS has made key investments in tobacco education campaigns, including CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign, which has likely resulted in more than 100,000 smokers permanently quitting. HHS is also working with the Department of Education to promote Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!, an initiative that encourages healthy child development through universal developmental screening for children.
- The Department of Transportation, the Department for Housing and Urban Development, and EPA are working together as part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to promote affordable, equitable, and sustainable communities through coordinated programs. These agencies have incorporated health into some of their grant programs by making walkable neighborhoods a program goal and by measuring progress based on health-related indicators.
Partners in Prevention Achievements
- The Panhandle Public Health District developed a Community Health Improvement plan modeled after the National Prevention Strategy. The plan recommendations include offering water in company refrigerators, adopting healthy meeting guidelines to increase fruit and vegetable offerings, establishing tobacco-free campuses, and providing lactation rooms for nursing mothers.
- The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging is using the National Prevention Strategy to enhance its mission to help older adults remain independent, healthy, and productive in the community. Efforts include, but are not limited to, collaborating with urban planners and local policy makers to support housing, zoning, public space, and transportation policies that help seniors age in the community.
- The American Public Health Association (APHA) is working on Building Bridges between Public Health and Community Design/Planning to increase collaboration between public health and planning and design professionals. APHA, in collaboration with the American Planning Association and the Georgia Institute of Technology, created a web-based repository of information that offers opportunities for professionals in planning and public health to directly engage in peer learning.
- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the National Collaborative on Education and Health, a public-private partnership that aims to support schools in creating optimal conditions for student health. This partnership grew out of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health to the National Prevention Council.
- The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) has been using the National Prevention Strategy to guide Henry Ford LiveWell, an agenda to improve the health of its employees, patients, and surrounding communities. HFHS is working to provide healthier options in vending machines, cafés, and patient food services. By removing deep fat fryers, adjusting recipes, and purchasing leaner meat, HFHS reduced the amount of fat in café and patient meals by almost 7 tons between 2012 and 2013.