We applaud the release of Healthy People 2020, the federal blueprint for building a healthier nation between 2010 and 2020, which for the first time ever prioritizes LGBT health, social determinants of health, and access to health services. The new blueprint will feature the target areas and objectives in an interactive online format, and the entire document will be constantly updated to reflect progress made toward the objectives by participating communities, providers, and public health advocates from around the country.
According to the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2020 is the product of an extensive stakeholder feedback process” that includes the input from public health and prevention experts, a wide range of federal, state, and local government officials, a consortium of more than 2,000 organizations, and perhaps most importantly, more than 8,000 comments from the public. Based on the input from this varied makeup of these groups and individuals, HHS has delineated objectives that target health, wellness, and prevention measures specific to a number of topic areas, including a number of those associated with the LGBT community.
PFLAG wants to make note of the historic progress and congratulate both our friends over at the National LGBT Health Coalition and HHS for including the LGBT community in their steps towards improving our nation’s health. By specifically targeting and addressing the health problems the LGBT community regularly faces, we are raising the awareness of the heightened prevalence these issues hold within our communities and allow for easier identification and eradication of them, creating not only a healthier LGBT population, but a more health-conscious country at large. Without these important first steps prompted and initiated by the National LGBT Health Coalition and HHS, respectively, the health disparities most prominent within our communities are closer to acquiring the attention they deserve to foster discussions about wellness and prevention to take place. PFLAG will remain committed to the continued work of HHS and look forward to the actualization of the blueprint they have set forth over the next decade.