Public Health and Healthy Communities

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Public Health agencies played a significant role in the past and continue to contribute in improving the overall health of communities through various interventions, focusing on prevention rather than treatment. These preventative measures include but are not limited to sanitizing drinking water, implementing immunizations to eradicate infectious diseases, and creating many programs that promote behaviors beneficial for a healthy community. What is a healthy community? According to the publication Healthy People in Healthy Communities, a healthy community is “one that embraces the belief that health is more than merely an absence of disease” (Healthy People 1). A healthy community also “includes those elements that enable people to maintain a high quality of life and productivity” (1). Access to health care services is vital for citizens to maintain their health. In addition, people living in a healthy and safe environment need basic structural provisions such as safe roads, schools, playgrounds, parks etc. Healthy People 2010 states two primary goals: “to increase the quality and years of healthy life of all Americans” especially since USA ranks low amongst other countries in average lifespan (78.9 for females vs. 82.9 for females in Japan), and “to eliminate disparities in health status” (Healthy People 2). Achieving these goals will not be an easy task. These goals require patience, commitment and energy from federal, state and local governments, public health agencies, medical institutions, schools, community groups, and most importantly the citizens themselves. Ultimately, the goal of this project seeks to improve the health of the nation by promoting health and preventing diseases. There are twenty-eight focus areas within US communities that aim in improving the overall health of USA. However, the United States condenses these major public health concerns into ten priorities called “Leading Health Indicators” (4). “Community health is profoundly...
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