Healthy Hawaii Initiative

Launched in 2000, the Healthy Hawaii Initiative is a statewide effort to prevent and control chronic disease, extend and increase the quality of Hawaiians' years of life, and address health disparity. The program targets behavior change at the individual level, and addresses the social determinants of health that are influenced by organizations and the community. The initiative is made up of five interrelated components that promote healthy and active living among Hawaii's 1.4 million residents, targeting schools, community organizations, and organizations involved in public and professional education. The program also works to improve detection, treatment, and management of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

Summary of Activities:

The Healthy Hawaii Initiative supports healthy lifestyles by implementing policies and programs to create sustainable changes in Hawaii's communities, schools, and workplaces. The prevention areas focus on reducing three core behaviors: smoking, inactivity, and poor diet. Numerous education campaigns such as "Step It Up Hawaii" and "You Gotta Start Somewhere" inform Hawaiians about lifestyle interventions they can take to improve their own health. State and county physical activity and nutrition coalitions, spearheaded by the initiative, are demonstrating best practices in community health promotion by hosting workshops, forums, and summits on obesity prevention and tobacco use cessation. The initiative also sponsors farmers markets throughout the State, and is conducting a campaign to discourage the use of sugary drinks and promote healthy eating. As a result of the initiative's efforts, wellness guidelines, physical activity guidelines, and health awareness tools have been added to nutritional guidelines for meals at public schools in Hawaii. A collaboration with local partners has increased the number of bike trails in Honolulu and has kicked off a bike-sharing program.

Healthy Hawaii produces "Health of Your District Reports" to help residents and policymakers see how their communities' health compares with that of their neighbors. The initiative also formed the Hawaii Health Data Warehouse to standardize and collect health data across the State. The Hawaii Health Data Warehouse produces a series of reports on the prevalence of chronic diseases and the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors, and also features detailed reports for 80 different Healthy People 2020 objectives across 30 topic areas.

Alignment to the National Quality Strategy (NQS):

NQS priorities of the Healthy Hawaii Initiative: Working with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living.

Efforts such as these:

  • Work with communities to promote wide use of best practices to enable healthy living.

The initiative is evaluated annually by partners at the University of Hawaii using prevention and healthy living process measures. The Healthy Hawaii Initiative also conducts an annual telephone survey to poll residents on the types of healthy living messaging they were exposed to over the past year.


The initiative is directed by the Hawaii State Department of Health. Learn more about the Healthy Hawaii Initiative.

Page last reviewed March 2017
Page originally created November 2016
Internet Citation: Healthy Hawaii Initiative. Content last reviewed March 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.