TNH JulyDespite spending more on health care than any country in the world and being home to some of the best, most cutting-edge medicine, the U.S. ranks 34th in life expectancy. In fact, for Americans living in poverty, lifespan is on the decline. The challenge of turning such indicators around have led federal health officials to call for a new era of public health, Public Health 3.0.

“Your ZIP code is more important to your health than your genetic code,” Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, acting assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told The Nation’s Health. “Public health not only has to be part of that (shift in thinking), it has to be ready to lead.”

In an article in the April issue of APHA’s American Journal of Public Health,DeSalvo, along with fellow officials from HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, argue that as the nation’s disease burden is increasingly attributable to behaviors shaped by social and environmental determinants, public health agencies must take a lead role in building the community conditions that promote good health and well-being for all.

Visit The Nation’s Health online to continue reading this story from the July 2016 issue

 

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