Healthy People Consortium Meeting
"Implementing Healthy People 2010"
November 11, 2000

Summary of Breakout Group Discussion Concerning:
Public Health Infrastructure

1. What does implementing Healthy People 2010 mean to you? 
Diane Wagner from NCHS pointed out the new data objectives that drill down to the local and Tribal levels and the importance that information will provide communities with the various population subgroups identified. There was considerable interest by those in attendance in "infrastructure" overall, so the planned breakouts focusing on workforce, organizations, data, and epidemiology did not occur. Ann Cassin from the Public Health Foundation spoke about the companion document on workforce they are preparing that will be available in December. It will contain specific examples of communities that have implemented action around the workforce objectives and will have contact information for those examples. This should become a helpful tool. Also, Deborah Erickson from Alaska who is heading the Turning Point Collaborative on Statute Revision informed the group about their work. Alana Knudson-Buresh from ASTHO also invited interested parties to participate through the ASTHO/NACCHO data and information workgroup she is heading.

2. How do you suggest we work with local community groups in implementing the Healthy People 2010 objectives? 

3. What are the challenges/barriers to meeting the Healthy People 2010 objectives? And how do you suggest we work to overcome them?
The challenge for this chapter is developing data sources for the developmental objectives and then pushing to collect that data. These can be overcome by persuading the professional associations to participate in devising a plan for data collection. This effort should be led by the Healthy People 2010 Team as the convener, using the workgroup that developed the chapter.

4. What can we do to support the elimination of health disparities in Public Health Infrastructure among racial and ethnic population groups? 
The group discussed the various ongoing initiatives to recruit and train more racial and ethnic minorities into public health practice. These include the Kids into Health Careers program at HRSA, the RWJ Foundation program, an example from South Carolina using teens to help rebuild health care infrastructure after hurricane Floyd, etc.

5. How do we measure the progress of Healthy People 2010 in the future? And what is progress? 
Those in attendance seemed excited to learn of the many activities ongoing in public health infrastructure. We celebrated the passage of the Public Health Improvement Act of 2000, (Frist/Kennedy legislation) that will provide for the first-time funding for State and local health departments to assess capacity to provide the essential public health services, assuming appropriations will be forthcoming. Unlike other chapters, success or progress in infrastructure may have to be measured by the amount of activity being done in this area. Progress will be moving the overall agenda forward rather than meeting any particular targets in each objective. Many who spoke during the meeting commented that just having the chapter with the various definitions allowed them to engage their constituencies around infrastructure much more quickly. Because there is a definition for infrastructure, they can explain its purpose and importance. Others commented that a few years back, before this chapter was developed, they experienced extreme difficulties getting policymakers to understand the concept, much less engage in a discussion of the areas of need.

6. How can we work more effectively with the media in implementing the Healthy People 2010 objectives? 
Push for an effective strategy around the 10 Leading Health Indicators. Those can be used as an entry into the entirety of Healthy People 2010. Massively exploit celebrities willing to become spokespersons for a particular indicator. It will take glitz and glamour to draw the attention of the media. Once that happens, the attention of others, such as Congress, the President, and others will follow.

Back to Consortium 2000 Table of Contents