Saturday, April 11, 2009

Public Health and the Healthiest Nation

Since this is the end of Public Health Week, I wanted to share a link to a site created by the American Public Health Association which is encouraging Americans to make our country the healthiest in the world within one generation. Contrary to popular belief, the United States lags far behind most other industrialized nations in numerous measurements of health and well-being, and it will take concerted effort to turn those numbers around.

Were you aware that the U.S. ranks 46th in terms of life expectancy in the world---far behind Europe, Japan, Jordan, and South Korea?

How is it that a baby born in the United States is more likely to die before its first birthday than a child in any other industrialized nation in the world?

Why is almost 1 out of every 20 adults in Washington, DC---the nation's capital---HIV-positive?

Why do more than 10 million American children lack health insurance?

How does one American under the age of 29 contract HIV every minute?

These are questions of enormous import and gravity, and even as I write this post, municipalities across the country are laying off Public Health Nurses and decimating the public health infrastructure in reaction to the economic downturn.

Please watch the video posted below, visit the website, and decide if you would like to take action, contact your legislator, or find another way to support public health in your town, state, region, or nationwide. The health of our country has been driven to a precipice that we do not need to collectively drive over. And like the website says, one person can effect change, and the actions of many individuals can potentially turn the tide.

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