What is Public Health?
Okay okay I get it, public health doesn't exactly feel like the most sexy topic there is, but believe it or not, public health is a part of our everyday lives! I'll get into that later but first i'll answer the basic questions about public health.
As you may know I work in public health as a Health Educator. I have both my Bachelors and Masters degree in Public Health and I love my field!
What: According to the CDC Foundation's definition, Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases. For example, since COVID-19 came about, public health professionals were the first responders, working to figure out what the cause was, how it can be stopped or treated, and most importantly, how to prevent it from spreading further by educating the community.
Ever received a vaccine? You have public health to thank. Public health is even as straight forward as the health department officials ensuring that we have safe water to drink and developing guidelines for teens to get tested for STDs. Do I have your attention now? In summary, unlike healthcare professionals who treat illnesses, public health workers work to prevent illnesses to keep communities healthy and safe.
Why: Why should you care about public health, and why is it important? Public Health can not only save millions of lives by preventing the spread of illness and decreasing preventable injury, but it is more cost effective, meaning that in the long run it will save individuals and communities money.
Think of it this way, if you started exercising every day and reduced your sodium intake, you have now reduced your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and complications related to obesity, which could have landed you in the hospital strapped with expensive medical bills. A recent Milken Institute analysis determined that treatment of the seven most common chronic diseases, coupled with productivity losses, will cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion dollars annually.
What do you think about this intro to Public Health? Pretty cool huh? Share in the comment section! Yeah yeah I know I'm a nerd :D