Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin today announced the release of the National Prevention Council Action Plan, which aims to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.
The Action Plan is the next step in the federal implementation of the National Prevention Strategy, a comprehensive plan to tackle such issues as obesity, tobacco use, health disparities and chronic disease. The Action Plan complements prevention and wellness efforts already underway by the federal government, states, tribal and local governments, health care systems, businesses, communities, nonprofit organizations, and others.
The National Prevention Strategy was released last year by the National Prevention Council, an organization of 17 federal departments and agencies that was established by the Affordable Care Act. The council's mission under the health care law is to help move the nation's health care focus from one based on sickness and disease to one on prevention and wellness. The action plan is being released together with the council's annual status update to Congress.
"Currently, chronic diseases and conditions account for at least 7 of every 10 deaths in our country, and many of these conditions are preventable," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a member of the National Prevention Council. "Our council's commitment to promoting health and preventing disease across each of our areas of responsibility is a commitment to helping Americans lead longer, healthier, and more productive lives."
The action plan includes for the first time, commitments from all of the 17 federal departments and agencies on the council to increase tobacco free environments and access to healthy, affordable foods and to identify additional opportunities to consider prevention and health by their agencies. Additionally, the action plan highlights more than 200 specific prevention and wellness actions that federal agencies are already taking or plan to take to implement the National Prevention Strategy.
"The National Prevention Council Action Plan is a road map to turning around the huge burden of chronic illness and health disparities that the nation and individual Americans currently bear," said Dr. Benjamin, who chairs the council. "I believe that prevention offers the greatest opportunity to improve the health of America's families, now and for decades to come."
Members of the council are the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Transportation; the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Federal Trade Commission; Environmental Protection Agency; Office of National Drug Control Policy; Domestic Policy Council; Corporation for National and Community Service; and the Office of Management and Budget.
To read more about today's announcement, visit www.HealthCare.gov/news/factsheets/prevention06162011a.html.
More information on the National Prevention Strategy and the National Prevention Council can be found at http://www.healthcare.gov/prevention/nphpphc.