Surgeon General Unveils National Prevention Strategy

Jun 17

I can only recall a few moments in my life (so far) where I stood in awe at the realization that I’d just witnessed history in the making. Thursday was one of those moments. Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin led a press conference to announce the first National Prevention Strategy.

The National Prevention Council, comprised of 17 Federal agencies and chaired by the Surgeon General, developed the National Prevention Strategy with input from stakeholders, the public, and the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

This new national strategy aims to reduce leading causes of death and illness, such as smoking, bad eating habits and drug abuse. By focusing on prevention, the National Prevention Strategy plans to help Americans stay healthy and fit.

The goal is to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. The Strategy’s four Strategic Directions and seven Priorities include evidence-based recommendations fundamental to improving the nation’s health. Implementation of the Strategy will include public and private partners working together at the national, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels.

During the press conference, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), a major supporter of the strategy, said as a nation, we spend more than $2 trillion on health care each year, but we only invest 4 cents on every dollar on prevention. For every dollar invested in prevention, we would save $6.

Harkin said its time we move from a “sick care” system to a health care system. The idea of shifting our health consciousness away from sickness and disease and towards prevention and wellness was the theme for the moment.

The goal of creating a healthier America isn’t a new concept. For years, federal, national and local partners have independently and jointly come together to educate about the benefits of healthy living. Turn on the television and you will see the increasing number of reality shows focusing on weight-loss and overall mental and physical well-being. While this strategy was created by the government, ultimately the success of this strategy must come from the adoption of its four Strategic Directions and seven Priority areas by everyone – both government and private sector alike.

What was do you think the National Prevention Strategy will mean to the future of health and wellness in America? And, what does it mean to you?

This entry was posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011 at 12:09 am and is filed under Public Health, Social Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Surgeon General Unveils National Prevention Strategy”

  1. Jeremiah Green says:

    “I can only recall a few moments in my life (so far) where I stood in awe at the realization that I’d just witnessed history in the making. Thursday was one of those moments”


    When I read this quote, I remembered how I felt yesterday, and I still feel that way today. I looked all over the major networks to see if this was being promoted or talked about, and it is not. That tells us how much work needs to be done, but I posted the news on facebook and got almost no reaction. I guess being healthy is boring until you don’t have it.

    Anyway, I was happy to see your blog and wanted to thank you for posting it. To answer your question, I am hopeful that this stays in effect no matter who gets elected because this takes on some powerful industries. If it does, we are seeing a shift in priority which will lead us into a future of informed people that will not allow themselves to be taken advantage of by those seeking to squeeze every penny of profit without regard to health and the environement. Empowering people with knowledge will get us there.

  2. Joyce Balls-Berry, PhD says:


    Thank you for posting this blog about the national prevention strategy. As a public health researcher it really saddens me that our country doesn’t do more for prevention. I believe that this effort will shed new light on the thousands standing up for better health care for our citizens. Again, thank you for posting this 🙂 with your permission I would like to repost to my page and blog as well.

    Take care,

    Joyce Balls-Berry, PhD