Assessment of the Uses and Users of Healthier US and Healthy People 2010. Non-Users of the Initiatives

09/01/2005

Non-users of HP2010 were comprised entirely of local and tribal respondents, and they were more often from smaller organizations. These non-users were given the opportunity to describe the barriers that prevent them from using the initiative through specific answer options, as well as through free-text fields. Exhibit 31 displays the distribution of responses to a series potential barriers listed on the questionnaire. The most frequently cited barriers relate to organizational issues such as resources, competing priorities, and lack of buy-in from decision-makers. However, a lack of implementation guidance and the amount of materials also received over a 60 percent response.

Barriers % Reporting
Exhibit 31: HP2010 Non-User Barriers

Insufficient financial resources

96%

Lack of buy-in

93%

Competing priorities

93%

Lack of implementation guidance

76%

Too much material

63%

Insufficient staff resources

62%

Cost of the documents

50%

10-Year timeframe too long

38%

Too little material

12%

10-Year timeframe too short

3%

Don't agree with HP priorities

3%

Funding barriers were most frequently mentioned in the free-text field (48%). However, six of the twenty-two respondents said that the state and local programs are prioritized higher than federal initiatives, and four respondents said that Healthy People 2010 is just too large of an initiative to tackle at their small local or tribal health organization. This response was further validated by respondents’ answers to questions about the number of focus areas and key objectives in HP2010. Fifty-four percent of the 57 state, local, and tribal non-users had no opinion about the number of focus areas, while 30 percent said there were too many, 16 percent said it is the appropriate number, and none of the respondents reported too few focus areas. Respondents felt similarly about the number of objectives; 58 percent with no opinion, 28 percent reported too many, 14 percent said it is the appropriate number, and none of the respondents reported too few.

Twenty-one percent of the non-users said they thought HP2010 was lacking in some way. Responding specifically about how the initiative is lacking and about what HHS can do to encourage more progress toward HP2010’s goals, 11 respondents said that HHS needs to do more media and public relations work to advertise the initiative to policy makers in local governments and in grassroots organizations. Another 8 respondents suggested ways for HHS to channel resources to the local and tribal health organizations so that they can implement the initiative. Specific suggestions included funding regional HP2010 planners, CBOs and grassroots organizations, and providing resources for data collection and evaluation. Seven respondents commented on the disconnect between the federal initiative and state and local priorities and programs. One respondent said, “It’s just not well connected to local health department efforts.” Finally, a number of non-users commented on a need for HHS to provide implementation materials that are streamlined and tailored to different types of populations. Three people commented that “you can’t just give someone a book and expect them to implement a program,” and another three people commented that they perceived the initiative as geared toward large, metropolitan areas.

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