Healthy People 2020 and Education for Health: what are the objectives?

Richard K Riegelman, David R Garr
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2011, 40 (2): 203-6
The Education for Health framework is designed as an educational roadmap for Healthy People 2020. It aims to connect the educational phases and suggests overall educational strategies needed to educate health professionals and the public to achieve a healthier America. The framework seeks to develop a seamless approach to prevention and population health education from Pre-K through graduate school. The framework is built on national movements in health literacy, undergraduate public health education and evidence-based thinking. It envisions a coordinated set of learning objectives divided into Pre-K through Grade 12, 2-year and 4-year colleges, and graduate education in the health professions as well as for health education for the community-at-large. The Healthy People Curriculum Task Force, a consortium of eight health professions education associations, has developed the framework and connected the framework with new and revised educational objectives of Healthy People 2020. The Task Force envisions a decade-long process to define and implement specific learning outcomes that can be integrated across the educational continuum. Interprofessional prevention education, in which health professionals learn and practice together, is seen by the Task Force as a key method for implementation. Understanding the roles played by a range of clinical health professions is also essential to communication and understanding. Healthy People 2020 and its new and revised educational objectives provide a vehicle for promoting the discussion and experimentation that will be needed to achieve an integrated and seamless approach to education for health for the American public as well as for health professionals.

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