[Healthy People 2000]

Healthy People Stamp Application

The U.S. Postal Service accepts nominations from the public for specialty stamps (e.g., stamps honoring late presidents or actors). Nominations are reviewed by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. Approximately 40,000 nominations are submitted each year, and 25 to 35 stamps are selected. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has nominated a Healthy People 2000 commemorative stamp; the nomination package and cover letter appear below. Individuals can write to the Postal Service to note their support of a Healthy People stamp.

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Management
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Room 4474E
Washington, D.C. 20260-2437

Dear Committee Members:

Over the past 20 years, the Healthy People campaign has helped people throughout the United States to live healthier and more productive lives. The current campaign is called Healthy People 2000. With this letter, I am requesting the creation of a new stamp to commemorate Healthy People 2000.

Launched in 1990, Healthy People 2000 is a public-private partnership dedicated to improving the health of the nation. The Healthy People 2000 campaign is built around a series of health-related goals and objectives in 22 priority areas. Many of the objectives in Healthy People 2000 are aimed at reducing the health disparities still found among racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people with low socioeconomic status.

A number of the Healthy People 2000 objectives already have been achieved. Others are well on their way and should be reached by the year 2000 target. It would be a fitting tribute to the success of Healthy People 2000 to issue a special stamp honoring this important program. We believe it also will encourage people in the United States to continue their pursuit of healthy behavior, lifestyles, and activities that will prevent disease and improve the health of the Nation.

Following this letter are a number of supporting materials, beginning with some related facts about the Healthy People campaign. Also included are a series of cover sheets and selected reprints that testify to the widespread support Healthy People 2000 is receiving throughout the United States. We also are submitting separately copies of Healthy People 2000: National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives and Healthy People 2000: Midcourse Review and 1995 Revisions. These documents represent the foundations of the Healthy People 2000 campaign.

We hope you will find this information useful in making your decision about a commemorative stamp for Healthy People 2000.

Sincerely yours,


U.S. Public Health Service


"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

First Postmaster General
of the United States


The Healthy People 2000 initiative embodies Benjamin Franklin's adage. For nearly two decades, the U.S. Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services has used the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of Healthy People to improve the health and well being of the American people.

This successful disease prevention and health promotion program encompasses a wide range of goals, all aimed at improving the quality of life and health for everyone in the United States. The Healthy People 2000 objectives cover basic health issues such as physical activity, balanced nutrition, and good oral health. Healthy People also addresses the biggest threats to health—heart disease, cancer, substance abuse, HIV infection, and mental disorders.

The comprehensive framework of Healthy People was built with bipartisan support and represents the participation of more than 10,000 individuals and over 300 organizations. By achieving access to preventive services for all Americans, this framework has unified the country in preventing disease, disability, and premature death.

Healthy People has served and continues to serve as the catalyst for individuals to make positive changes in their personal behavior. It encourages organizations such as schools, companies, and health providers to band together with communities to support good health. Because of the disease prevention initiatives in Healthy People 2000, Americans now know the difference between good and bad cholesterol; they have their blood pressure checked regularly; they see their dentists regularly; and women are getting their mammograms. All of these health promotion and disease prevention measures are marketed and monitored through the Healthy People initiative.


The numbers of health professionals alone who are interested in Healthy People and health promotion are substantial. There are nearly 1.3 million nurses, 682,000 practicing physicians, 121,000 dentists, and 143,000 pharmacists. The number of students preparing for the health professions is significant: 127,184 nursing students, 17,085 physicians in training, 4,078 dental students, and 9,091 pharmacists in school. All of these current and future health providers and their organizations are potential buyers of the Healthy People stamp for both personal and professional use.

Health care is a big business in this country and supports millions of jobs. Mental health organizations alone employ more than 430,000 people. Other places of employment include the 6,374 hospitals and 14,744 nursing homes in the United States. Promotional mailings by the 628 health maintenance organizations reach their 59 million members, or approximately 1 out of every 6 Americans. The Department of Health and Human Services has 50,000 workers located throughout the country, and 25,000 grantee organizations. These numbers represent only a part of the potential market for a Healthy People stamp.

In addition, Healthy People is currently being used throughout the states and territories. As of January 1998, 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have published their own Healthy People 2000 objectives. This translation of national health goals has enabled states to customize the objectives to their local needs and priorities. Seventy percent of the 3,000 local health departments across the country use Health People 2000 objectives for assessing health status and taking action. More than 1,300 healthy community coalitions are working on improving the health status of their residents.


An enormous audience of health-conscious Americans is ready to purchase Healthy People 2000 stamps from their local post offices for personal use or as part of their collections. Disease and illness (and health care in general) are important issues felt personally by all Americans. Because Healthy People is all-encompassing and not disease-specific, a significant potential market exists for a generic stamp promoting health.

Many factors are contributing to this ever-strengthening national interest in health promotion. Included are such influences as changes in the ways health care is provided, the demonstrated cost effectiveness of the prevention choice, the concern about casual spreading of diseases, and the demographic facts that the elderly are living longer and the "baby boomers" are hitting the years in which their health becomes of greater concern.


Support for good health practices and disease prevention programs has a long history in the United States, from early efforts at good nutrition during the Colonial period to the early 20th century's focus on the likes of typhoid and influenza to today's Health People 2000 agenda that goes far beyond infectious diseases and epidemics.

National health targets were first put out together as one set of goals nearly 20 years ago. For each decade since then, they have been updated. And the Healthy People program has a positive record—1990 targets were achieved for infants, children, and adults, and many targets for Healthy People 2000 have been met throughout the current decade.


Healthy People is more than the Federal Government's program—it is the nation's. Healthy People represents a productive and beneficial collaboration by state and local governments, voluntary and professional organizations, schools, communities, businesses, and health leaders.

For example, over 59 million people belong to the 350 groups that constitute the Healthy People 2000 Consortium. Serving on the consortium are organizations like the Girl Scouts of America and the American Association of Retired Persons, and health groups such as the American Hospital Association, American Public Health Association, and the American Medical Association. This alliance of organizations is committed to making Americans healthier by undertaking activities in support of Healthy People 2000 goals.

Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, chairs the Council that is developing Healthy People 2010. The council includes former Assistant Secretaries for Health who span the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.


A Healthy People 2000 stamp would have the full support of all the organizations involved in Healthy People 2000. Sales of the stamp will benefit from the substantial marketing, advertising, and promotional campaign planned for the year 2000. Some of the ways the Healthy People 2000 stamps will be promoted include using them on the millions of materials distributed throughout the country to communicate the Healthy People objectives.

Also, the release of a stamp in the year 2000 would be accompanied by the President's announcement of the year 2010 objectives in an event carried on national television.

Collateral communications and marketing activities include the electronic medium of the World Wide Web. HHS has 500 web sites that reach over 20 million users this year alone, and the number of web sites and users continues to grow every day. In preparation for Healthy People 2010, the public was invited to comment by using a web site and electronic mail. During a 3-month period at the end of 1997, over 15,000 Americans visited the Healthy People web site.

In addition, all 350 Healthy People Consortium members have newsletters or journals that they send to their members. These periodical publications will be used to promote the Healthy People 2000 stamp in words and pictures. The "Healthy People Consortium Exchange" newsletter has a distribution of 50,000 copies a year. Other promotional plans call for producing substantial numbers of documents and companion materials for particular constituent groups such as those involved with women's health, child health, worksite health promotion, and school health.

All of these activities and more in the planning stages will help assure the appeal and sales of a new Healthy People 2000 stamp and thereby help everyone in the United States build a healthier America.

Healthy People 2000