Healthy New Jersey

Healthy New Jersey

History of Healthy New Jersey

Healthy New Jersey’s Connection to Healthy People

Healthy People provides science-based, national goals and objectives with 10-year targets designed to guide national health promotion and disease prevention efforts to improve the health of all people in the United States. For four decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

  • Identify nationwide health improvement priorities.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease, and disability and the opportunities for progress.
  • Provide measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, State, and local levels.
  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge.
  • Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs.

Healthy People is managed by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

New Jersey, and every other state, develops its own state-level version of the initiative each decade.  For Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020), New Jersey adopted the vision, mission, and overarching goals of Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) but tailored objectives to the health issues facing residents of New Jersey.  While many of HNJ2020’s objectives are the same or similar to those of HP2020, there are also many in HNJ2020 that are not in HP2020 and vice versa.  Additionally, the targets set for achievement by 2020 in Healthy New Jersey are based solely on New Jersey baseline data and therefore differ from the targets presented in HP2020 which are based on national-level data.  


Healthy New Jersey 2020 Timeline

  • 2008:  Planning for HNJ2020 began.  
  • 2011:  Topic areas and objectives were finalized after a series of meetings with over 100 external partners throughout NJ. The meetings provided overview information about the HNJ2020 initiative, social determinants of health, and the proposed state leading health indicators.  Small group breakout sessions were held to facilitate the exchange of best practices, emphasize the concept of “measurable” objectives, demonstrate how attendees could align and tie local health initiatives to HNJ, and identify what local agencies need to implement health improvement strategies that are consistent with HNJ2020.
  • 2013:  The Healthy New Jersey 2020 dashboard was launched online. 
  • 2015:  Another series of meetings with 170 external partners was held to advance the HNJ initiative by convening NJDOH grantees, local public health agencies, and community stakeholders to assess the impact, value, and success of health improvement activities taking place statewide, and to identify opportunities for acceleration or course correction. These meetings focused on topics aligned with the Leading Health Indicators.
  • 2018:  A mid-course review was published.
  • 2019-2023:  Work on HNJ2020 will continue until data year 2020 statistics are available for each objective.  Because of lags for some data sources, it is estimated that this may take until calendar year 2023.  A final assessment of HNJ2020 will be published after all data through 2020 has been received and analyzed.
  • 2020:  A state health improvement plan was published.
  • 2023:  A state health assessment, which will serve as the final review of the HNJ2020 objectives, is in progress.

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