National Prevention Strategy

America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness

credit: calvin fleming on flickr

The National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council recently released the National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness with the goal of guiding the nation in the most effective and achievable direction for improving Americans’ health and well-being. As Americans currently can expect to live to their late 70s, but only 69 years in good health, the strategy aims to “increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.”

In order to accomplish their aim, the Council focuses upon four “strategic directions” and seven priorities which are intended to provide the foundation upon which all of our nation’s prevention efforts can be built. The Strategic Directions include:

  • Healthy and Safe Community Environments-Create, sustain, and recognize communities that promote health and wellness through prevention
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services-Ensure that prevention-focused healthcare and community prevention efforts are available, integrated, and mutually reinforcing
  • Empowered People-Support people in making healthy choices
  • Elimination of Health Disparities-Eliminate disparities, and improve the quality of life for all Americans

The Seven Priorities include:

  • tobacco free living
  • preventing drug abuse and extended alcohol use
  • healthy eating
  • active living
  • injury and violence free living
  • reproductive and sexual health
  • mental and emotional well-being

This structured list provides evidence-based recommendations to mitigate the leading causes of preventable death and major illness. This is accomplished not only by governmental regulations but with the coordinated efforts of the businesses, educational institutions, and community groups in which we live, work, and play. Only by acting together can we assure that all Americans can mutually benefit.

The document progresses into specifics about each of the four directions, detailing the ways in which we can accomplish each goal while also identifying the actions both the government and partners can take in order to ensure long-term success. The recommendations they provide are well researched and thought out instructions which seem to be valuable steps towards a healthier and safer future for the nation. The information in this document would be useful for communities to begin planning ahead in order to create stronger neighborhoods and cities.

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