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June 2011 St@teside

National Prevention Strategy Unveiled

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) underscored the importance of prevention, and provided the authority to steer the nation to develop its first ever National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. Last year, President Obama signed an executive order creating the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. Chaired by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, the National Prevention Council was charged with providing coordination and leadership at the federal level and among all executive departments and agencies with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices. The Council recently released the National Prevention Strategy.

In an effort to shift the focus on sickness to wellness and prevention, the National Prevention Council developed a cross-sector, integrated national strategy that identifies four strategic directions and seven targeted priorities for improving the health of Americans.

The four strategic directions are:

  • 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 health care and community prevention efforts are available, integrated, and mutually reinforcing;
  • Empowered people: Support people in making healthy choices; and
  • Elimination of health disparities: Eliminate disparities, improving the quality of life for all Americans.

The seven priorities are:

  • Tobacco free living;
  • Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use;
  • Healthy eating;
  • Active living;
  • Injury and violence free living;
  • Reproductive and sexual health; and
  • Mental and emotional well-being.

For more information on how states and communities can contribute to meeting the goals of the National Prevention Strategy, please visit the Council’s website.