07/10/2013 10:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Progress in Prevention Since 2010

More than 11,000 students and all 1,500 staff within the Clover Park School District in Washington State now have healthier food and beverage options.

Nearly 700,000 residents of Broward County, Florida, can increase their level of physical activity because their community is improving the safety and accessibility of walking, riding bikes, and riding buses and trains.

Thanks to a program of the Department of Defense, schools in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam are using United States Department of Agriculture resources to buy more than $100 million in American-grown fresh produce.

These are just a few of the success stories highlighted in the 2013 Annual Status Report of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. They highlight both the potential of the Council launched in 2010, and the importance of doing more.

They're proof of what can happen as our nation implements the National Prevention Council's action plan to ensure the health, well-being and resilience of the American people. The Council's work is the first time such a broad and deep range of federal agencies have worked together to help Americans stay healthy and identify illness early.

The report shows many positive trends, including a decrease in three- to eleven-year-olds exposed to secondhand smoke, adolescents who are current smokers, stroke deaths, overall cancer deaths and the rate of coronary heart disease deaths.

"Tips from Former Smokers" will extend the lives of the tens of thousands of people who quit as a result of seeing the campaign. Million Hearts™, a joint program of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and CDC, is working to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over vie years. Colleagues from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Personnel Management and the Environmental Protection Agency have joined this initiative.

Working together, and under the leadership of the U.S. Surgeon General, the 20 federal departments, agencies and offices represented on National Prevention Council and our partners are advancing prevention, saving lives and moving our system from a sick care system toward a true health care system. Much more progress is needed, and we must accelerate prevention in the coming months and years.

The National Prevention Strategy identifies four Strategic Directions -the foundation for all prevention efforts -- and seven targeted priorities -- designed to improve health and wellness for the entire U.S. population.