Dear Community Leader:
More than 20 years ago the Nation embarked on a significant journey to make our communities healthier and happier places. Using the
Healthy People Initiative, which began in 1979, we have learned that we can make a difference. The current phase,
Healthy People 2010, has two overarching goals: to increase the quality and years of healthy life of all Americans and to eliminate disparities in health status. Its vision is deceptively simple: Healthy People in Healthy Communities. But to reach these goals, to achieve this vision, we must all work
together--individuals and communities alike.
The road to improving health for all is wrought with obstacles. We cannot let our resolve fail. We must continue to work together to make certain the benefits of health are available to all.
This guide is designed to help you--someone who has decided to make your community a healthier place to live. This guide provides information about the steps involved in forming and running a healthy community coalition. It also includes "Strategies for Success," to help you get activities started in your community, plus resources, references, and a one page 'quick-aid' with hints for putting
Healthy People 2010 to work for your community.
I applaud your efforts thus far and challenge you to forge ahead on the journey toward our ultimate destination, becoming an entire Nation of Healthy People.
David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
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