Assessment of the Uses and Users of Healthier US and Healthy People 2010. Results: HealthierUS

09/01/2005

Overall, awareness of the HealthierUS initiative was high, especially given that the program is in the early stages of implementation. Fifty-three percent of the 235 respondents reported that they were aware of the HealthierUS program. Of those 124 organizations aware of the HealthierUS initiative, slightly less than half, or 47 percent, reported using the initiative. This included 27 responding states, or 71 percent of states aware of the initiative, compared to only 38 percent (n=28) of responding local health organizations and 31 percent (n=5) of responding tribal organizations aware of the initiative.

Respondents reported using HealthierUS for outreach and collaboration more often than for internal planning at the organization. Overall, HealthierUS users considered the initiative relevant to the work performed at their organization. Users were also asked to identify the most useful aspect of the HealthierUS initiative to the organization. Media campaigns, promotion of physical activity, and promotion of preventive health were cited most frequently by state and local users. Eighty percent of the responding tribal users selected the promotion of physical activity as the most useful aspect.

Forty-four percent of HealthierUS users (n=25) reported using the initiative to develop new programs such as a partnership with community-based organizations for nutrition education, and 26 users reported expanding existing programs as a result of using HealthierUS at their organization. Furthermore, several HealthierUS users also reported planning programs intentionally around one or more of the four HealthierUS pillars (physical activity, nutrition and diet, preventive health, and healthy choices).

The questionnaire asked HealthierUS users to think about issues that might prevent the organization from using the initiative more. Responses fell into two categories; those related to the program itself, and those related to the organizations. Users overwhelmingly cited barriers at the organization, such as shortages of staff and financial resources. Only a small minority of respondents, less than four percent, cited problems with the initiative’s priorities, and nearly 50 percent cited problems with the amount of program material. A significant proportion of users said that the initiative lacks implementation guidance.
Most users (> 80%) reported a lack of financial and staff resources as a barrier to greater implementation of HealthierUS at their organization. Tribes were the only group to have a majority of users report a lack of buy-in from primary decision makers as a major barrier (80%). Competing priorities were also frequently reported.

Sixty respondents from states, localities, and tribes identified their organization as a non-user of HealthierUS. Much like the barriers noted by users of HealthierUS, the 60 non-users cited the lack of staff resources (97%), financial resources (93%), and competing priorities (92%) as the top reasons why their organization does not use HealthierUS.

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