The team behind the statewide health improvement plan Healthy Alaskans today released its first annual scorecards showing progress made toward reaching the goals of Healthy Alaskans 2030 – a plan outlining health outcomes for Alaska to reach by the year 2030. It also released scorecards and a report summarizing the results of Healthy Alaskans 2020, the previous decade’s plan.
An ongoing collaboration co-led by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) and the Alaska Department of Health (DOH), Healthy Alaskans provides a framework for health improvement across the state. Every decade, it identifies the state’s health priorities and sets new targets.
So far, the first year of tracking 2030 goals includes progress toward a smaller percentage of uninsured Alaskans; more adolescents with three or more supportive adults in their lives; and a lower rate of alcohol-induced deaths. Also, use of tobacco and vaping products was down, while percentage of communities with fluoridated water was up.
“Because we’re in the first few years of Healthy Alaskans 2030, we don’t expect health objectives for the decade to be met already, but it’s encouraging to see progress,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “By tracking data consistently over time, we can identify where we’re having success and where adjustments may be needed to achieve better health outcomes for Alaskans. With strong partnerships and a shared vision, we can achieve significant advancements toward a healthier Alaska.”
Healthy Alaskans compiles two scorecards annually – one with data for all Alaskans and the other with data that highlights the progress specifically for Alaska Native people. Health objectives are the same for both populations, but the separate scorecards allow for a stronger understanding of the health of Alaska Native people. Healthy Alaskans is the only state health improvement plan in the nation co-led by a state and Tribal partnership.
Healthy Alaskans is modeled after the national Healthy People project to provide science-based, 10-year national objectives for ambitious yet achievable health goals.
“While more work is needed to ensure our shared vision of improved health outcomes for Alaskans, these scorecards reflect significant progress being made in our communities to address identified concerns,” said Valerie Nurr’araluk Davidson, President/CEO of ANTHC. “These achievements translate into safer and healthier kids, stronger families, and vibrant communities.”
This week, Healthy Alaskans also released the final report for Healthy Alaskans 2020 and that decade’s final scorecards, which document progress toward that plan’s targets within that decade.
“It’s important to keep in mind that Healthy Alaskans 2020 and Healthy Alaskans 2030 are two separate efforts, each useful for showing trends and progress within a certain time period, for certain targets. But they’re not made to be directly compared,” said Healthy Alaskans data team member Andrea Fenaughty. This is partly because new goals are chosen each decade, and partly because the best available sources for each set of data and methods for defining measures sometimes change.
Note: Health objectives were called Leading Health Indicators (LHIs) for Healthy Alaskans 2020.
To find these scorecards and the 2020 final report, please visit healthyalaskans.org.
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