Public health addresses health outcomes of people and communities by educating on preventative health care, promoting wellness, and ensuring healthy conditions for all. According to the American Public Health Association, “Only 3 percent of our health care spending is focused on prevention and public health.” This leaves a majority of Americans unaware of crucial concerns and emergency procedures.
Despite tremendous improvements in the twentieth century, Americans live shorter lives and suffer more health issues than people in other high-income countries. We know good health depends on many things, including care from a well-educated population of caregivers.
Social, environmental, and individual factors influence both our health and our ability to make healthy choices. Health care is only a small contributor to our health and wellness.
Generation Public Health Goals
Neighborhoods: Build a nation of safe, healthy communities. Walking neighborhoods, public transportation, and playgrounds can boost activity.
Education: Education leads to healthy adults with access to good jobs, resources, and neighborhoods.
Income: Income equality lowers stress for adults and families. Increasing economic mobility improves communities for everyone.
Food and nutrition: Ensure access to safe, healthy food with nutritious ingredients. Community gardens and farmers markets are two ways to expose communities to fresh foods.
Environment: Support policies for clean air and water, safe housing, and access to healthcare.
Many careers support strong public health: first responders, health educators, public health nurses, and other occupational health and safety professionals. By integrating these professions into communities through educational events, more people can learn about public health concerns, emergency procedures, life-saving skills, and advocacy to improve health outcomes for more of their local population.
By supporting healthcare education, Pocket Nurse aims to participate in community success. This National Public Health Week, look around your community and discover ways to participate. The American Public Health Association has many more tips and tools to becoming an advocate.