Healthcare Topic: Public Health

Monday, September 9, 2008
HIV is everyone’s business; whether we want it to be or not. Yet after 27 years of the pandemic, AIDS is still not everyone’s concern. Too many people who should know their HIV status still don’t. Too many people who should be in treatment and care still are not.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
With the Mission Projects Initiative, we are attempting to solve pressing health issues facing our nation, problems that now affect the quality of life of millions of Americans.
Tuesday, February 2, 2009
“Decent care” offers a new approach to health care that seeks to acknowledge and apply universal human values of decency. Just as the concept of “decent work” sought to name and redefine the conditions of work in the industrial age, decent care seeks no less than to redefine and describe values that are essential to primary health worldwide.
Wednesday, May 5, 2009
Last May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution naming May “National Bicycle Month,” giving federal recognition to our most efficient form of transportation. Several months later, the Bicycle Commuter Act was signed into law, enabling bicycle commuters to receive tax-free benefits for their unique contributions reducing traffic congestion and air pollution while improving their own health.
Monday, June 6, 2009
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, of which I have served as staff director, recently released its report with 10 recommendations that we believe will allow Americans – particularly those who face the greatest barriers to good health – to lead healthy lives.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The campaign to create a National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NAS) for the United States has been a remarkable success so far. Over the last two years, the concept has won support from hundreds of organizations and more than 1,000 individuals. They all endorsed a Call to Action demanding a more coordinated, accountable, and results-oriented response to AIDS in our country.
Monday, September 9, 2009
Because “prevention accounts for only two to three percent of health care expenditures,” we could achieve significant savings in future health care costs by devoting more money to preventive measures. Unfortunately, this argument is flawed.
Tuesday, November 11, 2009
As the House and Senate move toward the final outlines of health care reform legislation, they confront important questions about how proposals might apply to immigrants
Monday, November 11, 2009
Dr. David Kessler, as you’ve probably heard, is out with a terrific best-seller called The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite. The cover grabs your attention: very pure white glossy background with a carrot cake and carrots.
Tuesday, December 12, 2009
So many of us work hard to look healthy on the outside; let’s also spend time protecting our health on the inside. Too many gay men hope they are HIV-negative but don’t know for sure. Too many who are positive don’t know that they are, and may be infecting others. Too many of us worry alone.
Monday, January 1, 2010
We all recognize the signs of a livable community: people biking and kids walking safely around their neighborhoods. These are important forms of commuting that also contribute to a community’s vitality. This is especially true for children, who should be able to securely walk and bike to their most important destinations: schools, parks, and their friends’ homes.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
One perverse side effect of the stalled national health reform legislation is that popular, commonsense provisions tucked in the bills get stuck too. That includes the restaurant menu labeling requirement, which has support from Democrats; Republicans; the public health community; and, more recently, even the fast-food industry.
Tuesday, March 3, 2010
What do we know about the levels of population health and the state of medical care and the many other determinants of health across the United States? Despite years of data collection, it has been difficult to gain a comprehensive view of population health.
Tuesday, May 5, 2010
Lost amid the yearlong debate over health reform and the heated talk of death panels and socialism were some major changes to the way in which the United States funds public health, prevention, and wellness programs as a result of the passage of health reform legislation.
Tuesday, June 6, 2010

Now that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been signed into law, the key question is whether it will lead to improved quality and better value in health care. While many people feel that this is an issue best left to the federal and state governments, many analysts feel that the reforms needed to improve quality and value cannot be done by governments alone but that real, lasting reform needs to occur at the community level.

Monday, July 7, 2010
With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, state, tribal, and local governmental agencies and community-based organizations now have the opportunity to transform their communities into places that offer healthy choices to all residents.
Friday, July 7, 2010
While plans are only truly useful once successfully implemented, it is a significant accomplishment and newsworthy that the United States now has a plan in place to guide its efforts in combating HIV/AIDS.
Tuesday, September 9, 2010
In the midst of health reform, there continues to be uncertainty amongst legislators, the general public, and the health care community about how health reform legislation will affect the actual delivery of health care. One category of health care providers that is expected to face some of the biggest challenges related to health reform is the safety net health clinics.
Tuesday, November 11, 2010
The health of a society should be measured by the health of its play. The play of a healthy society should be rich and varied: imaginative, dramatic, physical, cooperative, solitary.
Thursday, January 1, 2011
"Junior, do your homework so you can grow up to be big and strong". There is an undeniable link between education and health, even as we age.
Thursday, January 1, 2011
Play has been receiving some long-overdue attention in recent months. Major media are abuzz discussing the benefits of play, the consequences of its removal, and how parents and communities can work to actively restore play for their children.
Thursday, February 2, 2011
At some point, each of us has been an eyewitness to an injustice or infraction. While it is common to hear grumbles over the country’s current state of affairs, many grievances about the economy, health care, or education reform fail to make it beyond the dinner table or water cooler.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
With the nation about to renew its emphasis on wellness and prevention with the delivery of the National Prevention Strategy, it is fair to wonder if the long-established approaches to prevention and health promotion can truly upend their own paradigm and achieve the strategy’s goal of “… Moving the nation from a focus on illness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention.”
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Almost all agree that the rising rate of obesity in the U.S. has spiraled to an alarming rate and that we must take steps to re-introduce healthier lifestyles. What is up for debate is how we get there amidst contrasting schools of thought. At days’ end, the truth is that no one simple answer exists.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the country has ever faced; obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy.
Tuesday, April 4, 2011
Text4baby? No, babies in utero are not that tech-savvy, not even in 2011, not yet at least. But a program that sends free health and wellness cellphone text messages to women during pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life has been getting attention.
Friday, April 4, 2011
Consumer Reports, which has been rating everything from cars to coffeemakers for the past 75 years, evaluated a different kind of item earlier this year: heart screening tests. The unprecedented move came after the magazine discovered that more than 40 percent of its subscribers had undergone unnecessary heart testing
Thursday, April 4, 2011
For individuals fortunate enough to have access to a car, what is it that makes us pack up our things, load the kids or perhaps the family dog and head out across town instead of heading to a local playground we could reach on foot?
Thursday, April 4, 2011
PCMH models are new, diverse, dynamic, and evolving. We need to understand them, work with them, and design them from blueprints that meet patients’ needs.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I often start off my play-related trainings with a visioning exercise. I ask the audience to close their eyes and remember their own play memories–the sights and sounds they experienced, how they interacted with their peers, and where they were when they played. At the close of the activity the group participates in a sharing of memories.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Millions of baby boomers and other Americans have hepatitis B or C and do not know it. In fact, nearly two percent of the U.S. population may have some form of the disease – and approximately five million individuals will develop a chronic form of the diseases. Yet, startlingly, many of them will not even realize they have a hepatitis infection for decades.
Wednesday, June 6, 2011
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the Prevention and Public Health Fund to prevent illness and promote the health of all Americans. The Prevention and Public Health Fund (the Fund) will provide $15 billion over the first 10 years and $2 billion each year after to national, state, and community efforts to promote health and wellness. These efforts will help prevent disease, manage conditions before they become epidemics, and decrease burgeoning health care costs.
Tuesday, June 6, 2011
Thirty years ago this month, the CDC released a report documenting the first cases of what we now know as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Unfortunately, the news was not heard or understood by the millions AIDS would touch. In this the 30th year of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, much has changed.
Thursday, June 6, 2011
Like many nonprofits, KaBOOM! exists to solve a problem—the play deficit. Our children are playing less than any previous generation, and this lack of play is causing them profound physical, intellectual, social, and emotional harm.
Thursday, August 8, 2011
Service learning presents an amazing opportunity to include children and youth in efforts to deal with the public health crises that are obesity and the play deficit.
Tuesday, September 9, 2011
Providers deliver care of ever-increasing complexity within brief, often-rushed encounters, leaving limited time for dialog. So, why invest resources and attention on an individual’s preferences about treatment?
Thursday, September 9, 2011
September 11, 2001 shook the country to our core. On the heels of experiencing the unimaginable, the field of public health was thrust onto the front lines with the anthrax attacks – and was changed forever.
Thursday, October 10, 2011
Because consumers don’t realize that the price of health care products and services is set very differently than prices in other markets, it leads to perceptions and behaviors that can be expensive and even dangerous.
Tuesday, October 10, 2011
The store offers a mindboggling array of creative apps, including ones that calculate calories burned during exercise, create soundtracks to help people fall asleep, and display pictures that can elicit memories from Alzheimer’s patients. If the store doesn’t offer something for what ails you now, it probably will soon.
Thursday, October 10, 2011
If we can look past our fears that rough and tumble play breeds aggression, we can focus on its merits.
Tuesday, November 11, 2011
The Obama Administration abandoned the Community Living Services and Supports (CLASS) Act last month. This public long-term care insurance program was slated to be the country’s first attempt at dealing with an aging Boomer population that is in denial about what it costs to grow old in America.
Thursday, November 11, 2011
In your community, do block groups, farmer’s markets, city planners, community clinics, emergency services, and departments of health work elbow-to-elbow, or do they act in organizational silos? Improving population health was an important aspect of the Affordable Care Act, which led to the emergence of new community-based strategies that were launched in part from the public health campaign.
Wednesday, November 11, 2011
If there’s one thing everyone in Washington can agree on it’s that prevention is good. And that’s about as far as the agreement goes. As for the rest of it – who is responsible for prevention, how to define prevention, what is the government’s role in prevention, how much to spend on prevention and when to spend it – is not so clear, and wrapped up in the bitter politics (and difficult economics) of the day.
Tuesday, November 11, 2011
Preventing disease is one of the most common sense ways to improve health in America. But it is also a major factor for improving the economy.
Tuesday, December 12, 2011
The secrets of longevity are not so secret any more. Scientists know a lot about how diet, exercise, and social connections can extend the human lifespan. Study after study has shown that genes don’t affect life expectancy nearly as much as the environment. Enter Dan Buettner, best-selling author of The Blue Zones, who wrote a fascinating account of four places in the world where people live the longest – outliving Americans by more than a decade.
Thursday, December 12, 2011
While there is certainly evidence that cost influences a person’s likelihood of refilling medications, price is only one of many factors. It’s not a single conscious choice between taking a pill or not; it is ongoing management of a complex array of daily and weekly activities.
Tuesday, January 1, 2012
It seems that a number of programs that help detect and respond to bioterrorism and other health emergencies are at risk for major cuts or elimination.
Thursday, January 1, 2012
Just as Walmart and other retailers shook up the prescription drug business by offering $4 generic drugs, the industry now aims to apply its negotiating and marketing clout to tackle problems that vex consumers and the health sector: unpredictable costs, a lack of primary care doctors and inefficient management of chronic illnesses, whose costs drive the majority of health care spending.
Thursday, January 1, 2012
Due to the rapid increase in prescription drug abuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that over 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain medications obtained them from friends or relatives, while approximately 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet.
Thursday, March 3, 2012

It is often difficult to discern what is happening on the fringe of things and then decide whether any of it matters. In the last year, the center of health care has bulged with inevitably growing and demoralizing statistics of illness and costs, predictably warmed by the heat of presidential campaign rhetoric. But at its edge, centrifugal forces have been at work, tilting some usually obscure elements into the light.

Thursday, March 3, 2012
The world’s largest—and most important—conference for bringing together service providers, advocates, policymakers and scientific and social science researchers to learn about and share advances in prevention, treatment, care and policy for an epidemic that counts 34 million living with HIV/AIDS worldwide takes place in Washington, D.C., from July 22 - 27. However, not everyone who could benefit from this conference will be able to enter the U.S. to attend, and it's worrisome that many people here in the U.S. who most need to hear its messages might not pay attention.
Tuesday, March 3, 2012

The City of Niagara Falls was “spending a lot of money to maintain marginal courts where people didn’t want them anyway, and we were getting complaints from neighbors who lived nearby.” “We wanted to use all of that money to create one large-scale park with actual programming. It led to a much more elegant solution that let us do more things than anybody thought we’d get. – Thomas Desantis, Playing Smart, Maximizing the Potential of School and Community Property Through Joint Use Agreements

Tuesday, April 4, 2012

Your health shouldn’t be determined by where you live, but two new reports show that where you live, learn, work and play have a major impact on how healthy you are and how long you live. Disease rates and factors that influence health vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood and region to region—and funding for public health and disease prevention programs also vary significantly from community to community and state to state.

Thursday, May 5, 2012

With the rapidly changing economic trends within the United States, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has ballooned recently. As of April 2, 2012, the total number of individuals participating in SNAP in the United States was 46,449,850. SNAP is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest food and nutrition assistance program and the cornerstone of the nation’s programs for reducing food insecurity and hunger.

Tuesday, May 5, 2012
Today, more Americans are dying from viral hepatitis than HIV/AIDS.
Thursday, May 5, 2012

The promise of public health surveillance based on near real-time health data is based on the notion that there will be uniform participation among providers, the systems will be easy to utilize, the data will be timely and standardized and the information gained for the systems will be useful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2012

In reading Dr. Hua Carroll’s January post here in the Health Policy Forum on the "Cultural Differences in the Treatment of Pain," two statements stood out to me:

1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared prescription drug abuse an epidemic, and
2) Fighting prescription pain medication abuse is an uphill battle. (1)

Tuesday, June 6, 2012

The challenges facing the public's health today are as serious as they have ever been. Obesity and diabetes are significant health issues for a large proportion of the U.S. population, more than 2 million—mostly preventable—heart attacks and strokes occur annually and tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

Tuesday, July 7, 2012
According to a new report, many states and the federal government do not have policies or laws that we know can protect citizens from injury, the leading cause of death for Americans under 44.
Tuesday, July 7, 2012
Palladian worked closely with NIDA staff to develop the first-ever, easy-to-read website on drug abuse, designed for adults with low reading literacy (eighth grade or below reading level).
Thursday, July 7, 2012
This year, public health stakeholders have launched three key communication pieces to refocus the problem of obesity. Although these pieces are standalone efforts, they show how powerful coordinated efforts between researchers, local public health professionals and the American public can be. Together, these three pieces can give stakeholders at multiple levels concrete actions they can take to combat the problem of obesity.