Healthy People 2020 indicators provide national focus on a set of health issues affecting the United States.
By Patricia Paluzzi, CNM, DrPH
December 1, 2011
These issues are:
- access to health services
- clinical preventive services, environmental quality
- injury and violence
- maternal, infant, and child health
- mental health
- physical activity and obesity
- oral health (which made this list for the first time)
- reproductive and sexual health
- social determinants (a theme that Koh said has galvanized decision-makers)
- substance abuse
The combination of reproductive and sexual health with social determinants can mean new/renewed attention on what those of us who work with young people know
Many of these indicators are directly related to our work and present great opportunity for moving our work forward in new ways. The combination of reproductive and sexual health with social determinants can mean new/renewed attention on what those of us who work with young people know—that social determinants heavily impact any success we may have in reducing risky behaviors associated with teen pregnancy, STIs and HIV, and/or supporting teen parents and their children.
At APHA, session presenter Gail Christopher, Vice President for Programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, noted that education and closing graduation disparity gaps will be a critical focus as work moves forward. This is also very good news for those of us focused on pregnant and parenting teens. We know that education attainment among teen parents can alter a life course and provide a way out of poverty for teen parents and their children.
How will these indicators play into the work you do?
Patricia Paluzzi, CNM, DrPH, is the former President and CEO of Healthy Teen Network and has been active in the fields of reproductive, and maternal and child health for over 40 years, as a clinician, researcher, administrator, and advocate.