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Progress in States

State Health Departments:
Addressing the Needs of a Rapidly Aging Society

Public health professionals around the country play a pivotal role in helping to ensure that Americans are able to live as long, as well, and with as much functional independence as possible. The degree of success of their efforts will greatly influence the nation’s ability to meet the social service, health care delivery, and long-term care needs of our rapidly aging population.

Public health professionals have been working to establish foundational elements within state health departments that support and facilitate efforts to promote healthy aging. In addition, health departments are seeking and taking advantage of innovative strategies, evidence-based programs, and strategic linkages that help them do their work more effectively.

To get a better sense of the progress being made by state health departments to promote healthy aging, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, with the support of CDC’s Healthy Aging Program, recently gathered information on their needs, priorities, and activities related to older adult health. This information is included in a document published in summer 2009 titled Meeting the Challenges of an Aging Society: The Experience of State Health Departments [PDF-2Mb].

While this effort sought information from state health departments, it was to some extent a follow-up to the Aging States Project conducted in 2001. However, the 2001 project sought information from both state health departments and state units on aging. For the complete report of the Aging States Project, see The Aging States Project: Promoting Opportunities for Collaboration Between the Public Health and Aging Services Networks [PDF-294Kb].



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