Post Content

Bigbypic2 By Dr. JudyAnn Bigby

Prevention consistently comes up as an important strategy to contain the growth in the health care costs, but most observe that the United States invests too little in prevention. About 5% of the U.S. healthcare budget is spent on prevention. We know prevention can lower health care costs, which is why the establishment of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council, created by the nation’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), is so important.

And yesterday, the Council released the first National Prevention Strategy, which the Council developed with input from stakeholders, the public and the President’s Advisory Group (of which I am a proud member).  The National Prevention Strategy serves as a comprehensive plan to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life and helps move the nation away from a health care system focused on sickness and disease to one that is focused on wellness and prevention. It also acknowledges that prevention and health promotion can be built into our every day lives at home, work, and in our communities.   

The strategy released yesterday outlines four initiatives that offer a comprehensive plan for improving the nation’s health.  The four initiatives are:

  • Building healthy and safe community environments:  Prevention of disease starts in our communities and at home; not just in the doctor’s office. 
  • Expanding quality preventive services in both clinical and community settings: When people receive preventive care, such as immunizations and cancer screenings, they have better health outcomes and lower health care costs. 
  • Empowering people to make healthy choices:  When people have access to actionable and easy-to-understand information and resources, they are empowered to make healthier choices. 
  • Eliminating health disparities: By eliminating disparities that exist in the effort to achieve and maintain good health, we can help improve quality of life for all Americans. 

Under the coordination of the National Prevention Council and the guidance of the Advisory Group, federal agencies, as well as public and private partners, will work together to help implement the Strategy at the national, state, tribal, and local levels in seven priority areas: tobacco-free living; active lifestyles; prevention of drug abuse and excessive alcohol use; injury and violence-free living; reproductive and sexual health; healthy eating; and mental and emotional wellness.

Already, the Obama Administration has a number of efforts underway that help support and achieve the goals outlined in the National Prevention Strategy.  Council members are working together to implement programs to improve all Americans’ lives, including the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, and Executive Order 13548 to make the federal government a model employer of persons with disabilities. Through these initiatives and others, the federal government is working to ensure every American has the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH! posted on May 16

Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Please join the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and individuals and organizations from across the nation this May in observing Mental Health Month! Each May, Mental Health Month is observed to raise awareness about mental health related   …Continue Reading Celebrate Mental Health Month with DMH!

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May posted on May 1

Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Age-Friendly World! Anti-aging Workouts! Second Acts!  Lifelong Learning! Getting older doesn’t mean what it used to and the way we talk about aging is changing too. For many Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a renewed energy,   …Continue Reading Age Out Loud! Celebrate Older Americans Month in May

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month posted on Apr 19

Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services is proud to support Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month (HDM). Led by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care*, HDM is a month-long public awareness campaign promoting   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Healthcare Decisions Month