Amid the often depressing news about our individual and collective health (obesity rates expanding! diabetes on the rise! heart disease through the roof!), I find it comforting to be reminded of what’s going right or getting better in health care.
I’m frequently reminded by DMU students, faculty and alumni, who are passionate about great patient care and their professions. And, recently, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention composed a list of noteworthy public health achievements that occurred in the United States from 2001 to 2010. These achievements (and, arguably, others) have increased life expectancy in the U.S. by 62 percent in the 20th century.
The CDC’s list includes prevention and control of infectious diseases, tobacco control, cancer prevention and childhood lead poisoning prevention. The list, the organization says, has improved our population’s health at every stage of life.
What do you think the biggest public health achievements have been in the past decade? What do you expect the biggest achievements to be in the decade ahead? And in what areas do we need to make the greatest strides?