The agency’s most recent 10-year plan aims to prioritize critical public health issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and social determinants of health (SDoH).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week its plans for health promotion over the next decade with Healthy People 2030 in partnership with the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The initiative was created through a collaboration between a federal advisory committee of 13 thought leaders, a workgroup of subject matter experts from more than 20 federal agencies, and public feedback received over the years.

Each decade since 1980, HHS's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has formed targeted objectives to improve the health and wellbeing of Americans. The most recent 10-year plan features 355 measurable objectives as well as developmental and research objectives across a range of sectors:

  • Health conditions
  • Health behaviors
  • Populations
  • Settings and systems
  • SDoH

HHS has formed targeted objectives to address SDoH for the first time to continue to prioritize health disparities, health equity, and health literacy. SDoH efforts will span across five domains, including economic stability, education access and quality, health care access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.

Other new objectives for the next 10 years will address opioid use disorder and e-cigarette use among youths, as well as resources to adapt Health People 2030 “emerging public health threats” such as COVID-19.

The number of objectives in Healthy People 2030 was reduced in comparison to Healthy People 2020 in an attempt to “avoid overlap and prioritize the most pressing public health issues,” according to the Healthy People 2030 website.

"Healthy People was the first national effort to lay out a set of data-driven priorities for health improvement," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in the announcement. "Healthy People 2030 adopts a more focused set of objectives and more rigorous data standards to help the federal government and all of our partners deliver results on these important goals over the next decade."