The National Prevention Strategy

The National Prevention StrategyThe National Prevention Strategy aims to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. The Strategy prioritizes prevention by integrating recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives.

The National Prevention Strategy’s vision is Working together to improve the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities by moving the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness.

This Strategy envisions a prevention-oriented society where all sectors recognize the value of health for individuals, families, and society and work together to achieve better health for all Americans.


In the following video, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin talks about how preventive
health care can help fight leading causes of death, and why it’s so hard for doctors to provide it.

The National Prevention Strategy’s overarching goal is Increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life.

This Strategy focuses on both increasing the length of people’s lives and ensuring that people’s lives are healthy and productive. Currently Americans can expect to live 78 years, but only 69 of these years would be spent in good health.5 Implementing the National Prevention Strategy can increase both the length and quality of life. To monitor progress on this goal, the Council will track and report measures of the length and quality of life at key life stages (Appendix 2 for baselines and targets). To realize this vision and achieve this goal, the Strategy identifies four Strategic Directions and seven targeted Priorities. The Strategic Directions provide a strong foundation for all of our nation’s prevention efforts and include core recommendations necessary to build a prevention-oriented society. The Strategic Directions are

  • Healthy and Safe Community Environments: Create, sustain, and recognize communities that promote health and wellness through prevention.
  • Clinical and Community Preventive Services: Ensure that prevention-focused health care and community prevention efforts are available, integrated, and mutually reinforcing.
  • Empowered People: Support people in making healthy choices.
  • Elimination of Health Disparities: Eliminate disparities, improving the quality of life for all Americans.

Within this framework, the Priorities provide evidence-based recommendations that are most likely to reduce the burden of the leading causes of preventable death and major illness. The seven Priorities are

  1. Tobacco Free Living
  2. Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use
  3. Healthy Eating
  4. Active Living
  5. Injury and Violence Free Living
  6. Reproductive and Sexual Health
  7. Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Moving Forward

National leadership is critical to implementing this Strategy. This leadership includes aligning and focusing Federal prevention efforts. However, the Federal government will not be successful acting alone. Partners in prevention from all sectors in American society are needed for the Strategy to succeed. All of us must act together, implementing the Strategic Directions and Priorities, so that all Americans can live longer and healthier at every stage of life.

The text of this article is extracted directly from The National Prevention Strategy.
Click here to read  the 125-page PDF report.