Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It is the middle of summer and I am writing about school - not cool, I know. But the idea was provoked by an article I read recently in the American Journal of Public Health. The piece suggests integrating public health messaging into the school system. The author, Dr. Ira Wile, proposes some clever ideas to do this, such as having math problems that use facts related to hygiene and vital statistics rather than traditional commerce-related questions, encouraging art projects that result in dynamic posters containing public health messages and incorporating information about food safety in home economics courses.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
On June 21, 2011 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a prepublication version of For the Public’s Health: Revitalizing Law and Policy to Meet New Challenges (Report), a report by the IOM Committee on Public Health Systems to Improve Health (Committee) and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In this Report the Committee discusses how laws may be used to optimize health outcomes.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
We know that the safest way – in fact, the only way – to eliminate the health risks associated with indoor exposure to tobacco smoke is to prohibit all smoking activity. As a result, eighteen states to date have passed laws or regulations prohibiting smoking in foster homes (with most also covering smoking in vehicles transporting foster children, and a few covering outdoor areas within the range of homes). Several other states are considering similar legislation. But that leaves close to thirty states that still allow children in a foster care environment to be exposed to the hazards of tobacco smoke.
Monday, July 11, 2011
As a doctor, I’ve often seen children with asthma that doesn’t improve because they live in housing with mold and bad ventilation. I’ve seen diabetics who have a hard time following my diet recommendations because they live in neighborhoods with fast food outlets on every corner, but no grocery store for miles. And, while narrowly dodging traffic on Washington, D.C.’s chaotic streets, I’ve sometimes questioned if biking to work is really the healthiest choice, or if I’m trading exercise for an increased risk of injury. Many of the most urgent health problems facing the nation—like diabetes, asthma, obesity and injuries—are shaped by conditions in the places where we live, work and play.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Why public health law plays an important role in the essential services and accreditation standards and measures for public health agencies.