What will be the greatest accomplishments for public health in the next two decades? What obstacles may prove insurmountable? What will public health look like in the U.S. in the year 2030? What should public health leaders be doing today? What do we want public health to be in the U.S. in 2030 that can inform today’s agenda?
Public health leaders have an opportunity to influence which future unfolds and how. IAF has developed alternative public health scenarios to invite readers to recognize that the future is uncertain, but can be bounded using the knowledge we have today. IAF's Public Health 2030 project and report equips leaders with a broader awareness of the relevant trends and forces so that they can more adroitly shape the future of public health. The national report also offers “robust” strategies that were developed by leaders and experts from across the U.S. at a national workshop, and will be effective and advance the field no matter what the future holds.
On this webpage you can find:
Organizations and communities can use the scenarios as a living tool for strategy formulation by using them to: (1) Test whether current strategies will be effective in the different scenarios. (2) Formulate strategies to more effectively adapt to the changing environment. (3) Assure that strategic plans address the larger picture and longer-term futures for the public health community.
Click on the links above or scroll down this page to view the materials. The Public Health 2030 project was supported by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.
Local, state, and national organizations and leaders in public health can use Public Health 2030: A Scenario Exploration to consider uncertainties, trends, and forces that will shape public health and public health organizations. These scenarios build on IAF's previous work in health and health equity, such as Primary Care 2025, Vulnerability 2030, and Health and Health Care 2032, while also considering public health innovation, public health finance, technologies, automation, evidence-based care and administration, health inequity, and public health roles, policy, and administration.
The report also includes recommendations based on the scenarios, developed at a national workshop of leaders and experts. The scenarios thus offer a tool for organizations and leaders to inform future-oriented and successful long-term strategies and efforts, rather than making decisions and developing programs and systems solely based on the past and present. As changes unfold, it will be essential for public health officials and practitioners, policy-makers, health care providers, and others to understand the alternative paths that 21st century public health could take.
IAF has developed a scenario toolkit to help organizations and communities consider the implications of the national Public Health 2030 Scenarios for their own strategies and operations. The toolkit allows your group to conduct its own scenario planning exercise. To do this, you will need the following materials.
Overview of Scenario 1: One Step Forward, Half a Step Back
Overview of Scenario 2: Overwhelmed, Under-Resourced
Overview of Scenario 3: Sea Change for Health Equity
Overview of Scenario 4: Community-Driven Health and Equity
What will public health in the U.S. look like in 2030? What should public health leaders be doing today? As part of IAF’s Public Health 2030 project, we worked with three local jurisdictions and one state department of health to develop scenarios focused on their jurisdiction. In selecting jurisdictions, we sought diversity in size, region, political and economic conditions, and organizational forms. Other public health agencies that might have a similar size or location can consider exploring these scenarios for their own planning processes as well.
Public Health 2030: Scenarios for Fargo Cass Public Health, as an example of a rural jurisdiction.
Public Health 2030: Scenarios for the Boston Public Health Commission, as an example of a mid-sized jurisdiction with population of 250,000 to 750,000.
Public Health 2030: Scenarios for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, as an example of a large jurisdiction with a population over 750,000.
Public Health 2030: Scenarios for the Virginia Department of Health , as an example of a state department of health.
Comparable organizations and communities can use the local and state public health scenarios as a living tool for strategy formulation by using them to:
To conduct your own scenario planning exercise, you will need the following materials in conjunction with the scenarios:
For the purpose of this project, IAF used a modified Institute of Medicine definition of public health: “Public health is what we as a society collectively do to ensure the conditions for people to be healthy.” This includes the organized efforts of society through government and other means. To further understand what governmental public health does, we considered the 10 essential public health services. With that in mind, we identified drivers or key forces shaping public health and together with the Prevention Institute developed a set of expectable, challenging, and visionary forecasts for each of the drivers. IAF then interviewed experts and conducted focus groups using the forecasts to explore the interaction of the driving forces. These driver forecasts, experts' reactions to them, and the experts' other forecasts and their implications, then fed into the alternative scenarios for public health.