‘Healthy People’ is a series of projects through which aims and objectives referring to health issues in USA are set (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011). The duration of each of these projects is a decade…
The Healthy People 2020 project incorporates about 1,200 objectives, which focus on 42 health-related sectors in USA (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011). The use of these projects for promoting health in USA has been proved particularly effective; the access of people to health services has been improved while the performance of health institutions across the country has been increased. However, in certain cases, delays are monitored in the completion of the project’s phases. It seems that additional measures are required in order for the project’s parts to be fully developed. The historical development of Healthy People projects is presented in this paper; reference is given specifically to the Healthy People 2020 project. The terms of the project’s successful implementation are analytically presented. In order for the needs and the value of the project to be clear, the example of its performance in a specific sector is used. The food safety in USA as promoted through the Health People 2020 project is presented and evaluated, referring to the measures taken by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or supporting the relevant initiative. The level of success of Healthy People 2020 project and its potentials for the future are evaluated using relevant commentary. The responses of the public to the specific project seem to be encouraging; however, the need for improvements in the development of the project’s plans is clear. 2. The Healthy People Initiative 2.1 Healthy People Initiative history and lessons learned The history of Healthy People project proves that the specific initiative has significantly contributed in the improvement of health across USA, even if the relevant targets have been achieved gradually. In 2010, a Workshop was developed for the evaluation of the performance of Healthy People project and the identification of its major requirements, both in the short and the long term. Of particular importance has been the potential of HP project to respond to the challenges of health for the period between 2010 and 2020. It was made clear that for this period, as in the past also, emphasis should be given on the implementation of the project’s plans and the monitoring of their performance. The HP project has been introduced for first time about 3 decades before (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2010). In fact, the first initiative of this type introduced in 1979 through ‘a surgeon’s report that suggested a series of objectives which would be achieved by 1990’ (Gever 2010). HP project reflects the 4th decade of the project and aims to cover any issue, which was not addressed through the previous projects of this type. The key characteristic of HP project is that it is flexible enough so that it can be aligned with the health care needs of each particular period. For example, in 2000 the most important challenge for legislators in USA was to identify a method for improving clinical care across the country; the HP project helped towards the achievement of this target (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2010). In a similar way, the HP 2010 project promoted the value of individual as a member of the community while the HP 2020 project ‘recognizes societal influences on health’ (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 2010, p.3). Moreover, the use of the HP projects for addressing health needs in USA proved that the specific sector suffers from disparity, delays in the limitation of costs, redundancies and failures in the control of performance. In ...
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