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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318254cc31
Original Articles

The Healthy People Initiative: Understanding the User's Perspective

Benz, Jennifer PhD; Blakey, Carter BA; Oppenheimer, Caitlin Carroll MPH; Scherer, Hilary BA; Robinson, Wilma Tilson PhD, MPH

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Objective: After 30 years of implementation, this study provides the first assessment of how the nation's preeminent health promotion and disease prevention initiative, Healthy People, is utilized by key stakeholders in state, local, and tribal health organizations.

Methods: Surveys of state, local, and tribal health organizations were conducted in 2005 and 2009. Respondents completed a questionnaire about their organization's awareness and the use of Healthy People 2010.

Results: The awareness and use of Healthy People have grown over time. However, states are 32% more likely than local organizations and more than 200% more likely than tribal organizations to use Healthy People, demonstrating a continued need for targeted outreach directed toward local, tribal, and smaller health organizations. Different stakeholders appreciate different aspects of Healthy People. Barriers to increased use of Healthy People are primarily attributed to organizations, rather than the Healthy People initiative itself. Implementation planning for Healthy People 2020 is well aligned with users' recommendations.

Conclusions: The Healthy People initiative is useful to different stakeholder groups in different ways. Encouraging and assisting users to adopt a broader set of its functionalities could increase the overall utility of the initiative.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.



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