(Washington, DC) – Ivan C.A. Walks, M.D., Chief Health Officer of the District of Columbia and Director, Department of Health, today, announced the release of the District’s Healthy People 2010 Plan. The purpose of this Plan is to set broad goals and statistical targets for improving the health status of District residents by the year 2010. The two major themes of the plan are: 1) to increase quality and years of healthy life, and 2) to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities among District residents.
Dr. Ivan C.A. Walks said, "The Department of Health will continue to form partnerships with public and private agencies that will enable us to realize the goal of the Healthy People 2010 Plan. Our goal is to engage each resident in a collaborative effort to improve his or her own health, as well as that of the family, the neighborhood and the community."
This Plan has been developed over the past two years by the Department of Health staff in collaboration with program advisory committees. Three public hearings were also held. The District’s rates of preventable deaths and diseases are high when compared to national rates. The leading causes of death include: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and HIV/AIDS.
The District’s Healthy People 2010 Plan has twenty-one focus areas which include:
- Environmental Health
- Health Care Finance
- Substance Abuse
- Tobacco Use
- Heart Disease and Stroke
- Mental Health
- Maternal and Child Health
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Individual health is closely linked to the health of the community. The health of the community is governed by the collective behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs of everyone who lives in the community. The underlying premise of the federal HealthyPeople 2010 Plan is that the health of the individual is almost inseparable from the health of the larger community and that the health of every community in every State and territory determines the overall health status of the nation. The Healthy People 2010 Plan will be an important tool for addressing major health issues, reversing unfavorable health trends and building on past achievements.
Partnerships with community agencies will play an important role in explaining the Plan’s goals to the community and encouraging residents to adopt positive lifestyles and healthy behavior. Businesses, civic organizations, religious organization and health providers will be encouraged to join in the effort to improve health in the community.
Additional information on the District’s Healthy People 2010 Plan is available at the Department of Health by calling (202) 442-5865 or by visiting the Department’s website at www.doh.dc.gov.